29 January 2017
It is Friday morning 1st May 2009 and I have just received a text from my father to say that he will be live on radio LMFM at approximately 10:45am to promote his new website www.carlingfordpeople.com. I'm not quite sure where to locate this particular station as I am a regular listener to Pat Kenny who broadcasts between 10am and 12 noon.
Excitedly, I dash into the office, with Jason, my 16th month old hot on my heels and do a quick search on the internet. I return to the kitchen and tune in my radio accordingly. It is only 09:45am so I busy myself with various things to do conscious not to venture too far from the vicinity of the radio lest I miss his moment!
Dad has been retired now for just over 4 years and spent the first year engaging in one of his most favourite past times - the garden! He has always been a forward thinker and so threw himself into creating a garden at the back of our house which would be both his and Mums whenever they should decide to sell "Shalom". Some years prior to his retirement, he had a back operation from which he never quite fully recovered but despite this he was not prepared to sacrifice his passion for gardening. The pains however threatened to get worse and some months later he found himself back in the Mater Hospital undergoing a fourth back procedure.
Having slowly recovered from his operation Mum insisted he take things easy and perhaps in hindsight slightly regrets the notion as she was soon to find her husband taking up permanent residence in the kitchen, perched comfortably on his newly acquired leather swivel chair, eyes fixed on the screen in front! With the prospect of a new and exciting idea on the horizon, the garden had to take a back seat, however is consistently and carefully rescued from neglect by Mum who gives it the attention it needs and deserves.
As I wait for the DJ to announce my father, I am drawn to the website and decide to record a memory. I am stiffened at the realisation that none come to mind and am left feeling a little distraught that perhaps I have none to share. I abandon the PC as I hear Dads voice over the airwaves.
He begins quietly with hesitation in his voice, stumbling a little over his words. I know that although he is a more than competent orator the anticipation of such an interview would have tied many knots in his stomach. As the interview progressed, my sense of his nervousness dissipated as he found his stride. He spoke of days of old and people that has passed but had not been forgotten. He talked about community and the importance of it and family. I felt a sense of pride as the interview came to a close.
As that day progressed, my mind was filled with on ocean of memories from my first kiss in the Queens Garden of King Johns Castle to the Oyster Festivals of old, from Pope John Paul’s visit to Drogheda to my first and only year in St. Michaels College Omeath (now The Tain Village) with Father Kenny as principal .
I will at some future date enjoy recounting in detail some of these memories but for today this memory of my father is the one I would like to share.
Monday, May 18 2009 - 11:08 PM
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29 January 2017
An excerpt taken from the"McKevitt Family” Web site
Tom McKevitt now lives in Blue Ridge Georgia U.S.A.
A note from Tom McKevitt:
MCKEVITT IS MY NAME, Thomas Lawrence McKevitt but I’m called Tom. I'm your host, and I'm pleased to bring you The McKevitt Family web site. "McKevitt Family" is intended to mean all who are named McKevitt, or are of McKevitt families around the world; and that because McKevitts everywhere are indeed of one family.
My father grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and I in the Roslindale/West Roxbury section of Boston. I made my first personal appearance at Brigham & Women's Boston Lying Inn, where it was claimed in song that "...every day is Labor Day at the Boston Lying Inn...," in late February 1930, amid the Great Depression that followed an October 1929 market crash. My father was Francis John McKevitt, my mother Gertrude Josephine McKevitt, nee Clifford. I was born the youngest of three; Lawrence "Larry" Timothy McKevitt being the eldest, Paulina Agnes Maloney, nee McKevitt and called Pam, being the middle child. My grandfather, Patrick McKevitt, grew up in a place called the North Commons, between the medieval town of Carlingford and the townland of Omeath, in County Louth, Ireland. For some reason, rather than walk a mile on Sundays and Holy Days to St. Michael's Catholic Church in Carlingford, he preferred walking about three miles to St. Laurence Catholic Church, in Omeath. His father was called "Big Arthur," and his mother was the former Catherine Henry, daughter of Patrick and Catherine Henry. Yes, Patrick Henry. The Henry family lived closer to St. Laurence's, and also near Newry, close to the Lough.More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
Spending many a Saturday from early morning till late at night visiting my grandparents and uncle with my Dad Peter and my siblings. I looked forward to visitng John's Castle, crab fishing and going out on the speed boats (during the summer months).Our uncle Patrick used to take us over to the village on a Saturday evening to buy comics and sweets. We'd arrive back in Kells very late and exhausted from the days activities.More > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
WhitestownMore > (0 comments)
29 January 2017
Memory : A Dead Fish
White-washing Ghan House was a huge job back in the 1950s.When you were 11 years old and part of team of juvenile whitewashers it was sometimes difficult to stick with the task.
The whitewash was delivered as dry lime. It was put into a fixed basin which had a fire grate below it, as big as a barrel that had been used in The Miss Rudderfords time in Ghan House for boiling pig swill.
Mickey Murphy the father of Kathleen,wife of Rory Mc Kevitt was the man in charge of the operation. Looking back he had a poor team of helpers most of us dressed in Wellington’s short corduroy trousers and tops, and none of us volunteers.
The lime wash barrel was located in a shed in the back yard next to the bell tower. There was still turf mould on the floor and the odd sod of turf remained, remnants of harsher days when my parents went to the bog at Omeath to cut their own turf to heat the Ghan. My job was to get the hose fixed up and run it from outside the kitchen window, take it around what we called the “wee shed” and finally to the pig swill where water was added to the lime.My brother John did the stirring working it to a paste and finally on to something that was pliable enough to brush on to the wall.
It was a lovely sunny day one of those days that was more made for playing than working. My mother came to inspect the progress, she was kitted out in her wellies and ready with brush and bucket to lead by example. In one of those rare moments of abandonment as she had her back to me, I seized my opportunity and turned the hose on her backside.
She dropped the bucket and ran with me following her with the hose, down the sandstone slab path and into the back kitchen slamming and locking the door behind her, the spray bouncing off the door
I still remember the thrill of it. I hadn’t done anything like it before and definitely not to a parent.You just didn’t do the likes to parents in the 1950s.I knew retribution would come. An hour passed and there was no sign of her. The back door was still locked. I tried the front door. She had locked it too. Another hour and still no sign of her! She was playing a waiting game! I could see that the window catch was off on the “boxroom” window.I moved slowly and quietly towards it. I could see inside the rows of shoes and sandals polished by Ginny Connelly laid out in rows like a legless army shining and ready to march to Sunday Mass. There was no sign of my mother.
Placing my fingers on the bottom of the sash window I eased it up as far as it would go. I listened –no sound. Slowly I began my climb through – head, hands, torso, and then –BANG****.My mother sprang like a panther, she whacked me across the head with a dead Haddock.I didn’t know what hit me.She laughed as she said “ That will teach you”.and it did.
I see that moment now as one the most loving moments of my mothers love for me. She came down that day to my level to that of a child and played the game with me. I love her for it.
She is 95 now and that spirit and sense of fun she had that day still remains with her and the love with me.
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