Hi, my fraternal brothers.
This special day for me St. Patrick's brings back some very fond memories from my shattered youth.
One in particular that lasted for four years of his young life.
As most of you already know I was in an Catholic orphanage/Home, located just outside of Boston.
It was run by the men's religious order, Xaverian Brothers (CFX). I don't recall just how many Brothers were there. But naturally they were men from various heritage groups, just like us boys there. But there were a few of Irish extraction. From the Old Sod.
If, and that's a big if, we were good boys then our dormitory Brother would let us listen to either a Boston Braves ball game. Or at other times the Hibernian hour, Irish music. Most Irish music was about the British rule over Ireland. Sad songs and then hopeful songs. I was a good listener, as just about the only thing left in me was my heritage and my name. Everything else was already taken from me.
Then, at times during our free time in our classroom in the evenings as we were doing something like sorting stamps to be sold in order to raise money to help run the place.
There was a Victrola in our classroom and the only record (or it seemed it was the only one) was of Irish music. I would sit there and let my mind go with the music.
Two of the most outstanding recordings on that 78rpm platter that this boy/man has always remembered right up to this minute was the songs, "Danny Boy." There in my young mind would change some of the meanings, For instance Danny Boy was young Pete. He was gone (dead) & I was the one that stayed in the song. The other Pete would go to the valley, kneel & say I love you and say an Ave there for him. Danny Boy (young Pete.) Until we meet in heaven.
The other, was "Did You Ever Go Across the Sea To Ireland." For some reason that always stuck in this 10-14 year old boys mind. Across the sea to Ireland. Wondered what it must be like there? It was a beautiful country. The people were kind & gentle, from what i had read.
On the times when I had to leave the premises and go "home" to anyone who would want to put up with you for a weekend or in the summer break. NEVER wanting to be home with "mom." I would hang out at Logan Airport in Boston. I would go up to the sky deck and stand there watching those propeller air liners come in and they would announce over the PA system. Lufthansa, from Germany. BOAC, from London. Aer Lingus, from Ireland. And wonder where those places were. What were their people like? What was it like to live there? Things on a young boys mind.
Well, it wouldn't be but a few years later starting on his 17Th birthday. Never in that young boys mind did he ever think that he would leave Boston, let alone his country and find out about those mysterious places.
Thanks to the US Air Force this young boy/man, would indeed cross the Sea to Ireland, and spend some time there. He would also stay in those other countries that he had learned about as that young boy in an orphanage/Home.
Yes, on this St. Patrick's day as i'm sitting here playing my CD of Irish music, "The Irish Tenors." John McDermott, Anthony Kearns, Ronan Tynan. Singing other Irish songs songs and taking this Irish boy/mans memories back to a happy time is his youth.
Did you Ever Cross the Sea to IRELAND, this boy/man sure did, way beyond his wildest dreams he did.
Wishing all my brothers here a Happy & Healing, St. Patrick's day.
"I will take that lost boys hand, and I will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine, forever into eternity." As he is me.
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.