April 26, 2007


Snapshot from a Visit to Ireland

For the past week I've had two delightful visitors, Pat and Brendan, from County Cork, Ireland. There is no end to the amusing stories we exchanged, and we all had great fun. Pat told me how in Cork a mother whose son was drowning shouted, " Help, help, save my son, the engineer ! " Are you quite sure she was Irish , I asked ? Then, Brendan who has two sisters, one an " air hostess " ( Stewardess ) and the other an artist slipped and said, " My Sister the artist, " and of course we would not give him a rest after that. For sure Pat will be using that joke when she gets back to Cork for some time.

They were leaving Chicago to go to Texas to visit old friends who used to live in Ireland and Brendan wanted to be prepared with some jokes and tales . I fixed him up with a real " Corker " which is sure to top any tall tales the Texans might have. I'd love to be there to hear his lilting Irish brogue as he tells the story, but I'm sure to hear about it later. " Crickey ! " as he says.

John McGough, my mother's first ancestor in America , born in 1761 in County Down, Northern Ireland , was present at the surrender of the British general to George Washington's army at Saratoga which practically ended the American Revolution. He is buried in White Plains, Georgia, and his grave is marked by the Daughters of the American Revolution with a marker engraved : " John McGough, a North Carolina Revolutionary. We Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the Irish immigrants who made a great contribution to our fight for freedom.

Another thing I would like to thank John McGough for is the family trait he passed down - a full head of hair and only slightly gray at his death at age 88 . Generations of McGoughs to follow show no signs of baldness or early gray.

The Irish immigrants to America did not have an easy time of it and toiled to overcome the hardships. of their new country .Irish culture, music, dance and literature is now renown throughout the world.

Here's to you , Pat and Brendan. It's been a pleasure to have you in my Sweet Home and Garden Chicago. Pat was quite a gardener in her day and Brendan is a great lover of books.

I look forward one day soon to the visit of my husband, the engineer, and I, the garden blogger, to Cork. I can't wait to tour the fabulous Irish gardens there.

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