A month or so ago I came across the Celtic Radio App on my kindle. Since, I have listened to it everyday. I thoroughly enjoy the music.
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago in the inner city. We lived a stone's throw away from Bridgeport, which was the neighborhood where Mayor Daley resided. I attended Kelly High School. Much of my time was spent with my paternal grandfather Robert Brady Sr. from whom I garnered bits of the Irish language and culture. We were very close. When we were alone he would talk to me constantly. I remember watching all the media around JFK's assassination. During the funeral footage he explained so much of what was happening, such as pointing out the empty riding boots turned backward in the stirrups of the horse in the cortege. I was only 5 years old, but he would talk to me in adult terms. I remember he did the same thing when we landed on the moon, July 21, 1969 and during the first walk on the moon the next day. Family lore tells of him being quite the scrappy young man from a large family of siblings, always up for adventure that had the promise of a row or two. He was profoundly left-handed which did not sit well with the nuns when it came to penmanship. He rarely put pen to paper as an adult, struggling since he had been forced to write with his right hand. What he did write was practically illegible.
My grandfather was drafted in 1942 during WWII and served with the Sea Bees. He was sent to the Pacific Theatre where he was on the front lines in the campaign that took Guam, Saipan, Tinian Island and Okinawa. He served until November, 1945. Ever since his discharge he suffered with a myriad of symptoms that we call PTSD today. Moving out of state as an adult I was told frequently that I used unusual words and idioms in my speech. I sounded normal to me. When I began to delve into English and Irish literature, I realized how much my grandfather, whom I addressed as "Da" had influenced me. I thought everyone knew what "shite" was. His nickname for my little sister (who is still a pain in the arse today) was Pooka. I laughed so hard when I found out what a Pooka is. Although my name is Jane, he always called me Maggie. It was not until years later that I was told Da had a little sister named Maggie whom he adored. Sadly, she passed away when she was 8 years old.
I will journal again soon, saving other stories for another time.