Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thoughts for St. Patrick's Day
I found this extraordinary piece of Boston history at an antique shop in Newton Upper Falls. You can't make out the date in the lower right hand corner of this rendition, but it says 1915.

Not even a century ago, but it's right around the time that both my grandfathers had come over, from Cork and Dublin respectively, to look for work here. My maternal grandfather, perhaps familiar with signs like this one, hopped on a train and spent over a decade traveling around the U.S. finding work where he could before coming back to settle in Boston. One of his jobs was helping pour the cement foundations of Wrigley Field in Chicago. (I always suspected baseball was in the blood.) The house he bought on Sidney Street in Dorchester is still in the family.

We hear all the time, of course, about the prejudice against the Irish by the 'natives' when they arrived. Still, it often seemed to me more 'legendary' than real.

This sign hangs in my office now to remind me of that reality.

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