Archive for the ‘Humans of Irish America’ Category

Humans of Lucan 1 (Marian’s story)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

farmgirl“I’ve fond memories of Lucan. We moved there in ’62, from Sligo’s mainland, and stayed until 1976, when we relocated to Enniscorthy, which sounds glamorous, being just a four-hour walk to the beach, but Lucan remains my spiritual home. I remember as little girls, we’d purchase our fishing tackle in Cormack’s shop, then go on to Saunders’ newsagents on the Main Street, and buy our ‘Mandy’ and ‘Bunty’ comics, and bags of Rancheros of course! We used to buy fizzle sticks too, remember them? They were great, until they were found to have horse tranquilizer or something in them. One time, we were walking home and we found a massive box of Monster Munch, by that little wall separating the road and Sarsfield Park. It must have fallen off a truck or something, but sure, we didn’t care. We ate all 48 bags, me and me sisters. It turns out they were several years out of date. Janey, I was sick as a camel. I puked me ring up outside the Italian Embassy, and the Garda brought me home. He’d no car neither, so he had to give me a backer on his oul’ bike. Ah, I must’ve looked a right state, me poor mother was mortified, I was still in me good communion dress and all. Swervin’ all over the road on the back of a copper’s bike, with sick all over the kip, the neighbors thought it was some laugh too. Bastards. Still, I’d move back there tomorrow, but they’re after buildin’ loads of houses in the field we used to live in, so they are”.

Boris’s Story – Longford, now Nebraska.

Friday, November 13th, 2015

12241181_762150600580974_6785360173898794450_n “Back in Longford I was obsessed with movies. I particularly loved the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood, you know, when the real stars were out there, like Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, James Stewart and Emilio Esteves. It was Emilo who inspired me to become an actor. I’d seen both his films, ‘Young Guns 2′ and the other one, I can’t remember its name, he played a kid in detention, with Judd Nelson,and Molly Ringwald, I think Gregory Peck and Marilyn Monroe were in it too. Anyway, brilliant it was, it made me want to be either an actor, or a kid in detention, that one. When we moved to America, from Ballymahon, County Longford back in the early ’90s, I set about becoming an actor and meeting Emilio, so I started acting classes, and wrote letters to every Emilio Esteves that I could find in our phone book. There was only one of them, so that was easy enough. It wasn’t him though, this Emilio Esteves was a plumber from Nicaragua. I gave up on the meeting Emilio dream after a while, but imagine my surprise when I found that years later that I’d been misspelling his name all that time, so the letter-writing campaign had been in vain. Emilio spells his name with a ‘z’ at the end, not an ‘s’. I’m an awful eejit, amn’t I?” – Boris (51), formerly Longford, now Nebraska.

Simon’s Story (New York City, formerly Donegal).

Friday, November 13th, 2015


“When we were kids in County Donegal, we’d have great fun, just running in fields near our houses, playing in the streams, and even when we were naughty, robbing orchards. It’s a bit different in the South Bronx. I’ve been chased by hungry dogs nine times this week, and had my stomach pumped twice after breathing in too much of the local air, but I suppose it’s a less innocent time. We moved here in ’89. My Mam and her friends, well, they’d had enough, with Irish politics, the economy, and that bastard Rick Astley and his ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ song on the radio all the time. So, we moved here, it’s a bit better, only then they started hating Glenn Medeiros, remember him? He sang ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You’, awful shite altogether. Nowadays Mam and her sisters sit out in their deckchairs in the car park at Target, throwing stones at anyone they see who likes Justin Bieber, or even someone just wearing a hat, they hate people who wear hats”. – Simon, formerly Donegal, now New York City.


Dorothy’s Story (formerly Longford, now South Dakota).

Friday, October 16th, 2015

tumblr_mdfl1hSJsT1qmk5sn“Numbers were my specialty, I could count to 23 from the age of 7, but my reading and writing, well, they needed improvement. I enjoyed maths in school a great deal, so I decided that I wanted to work with numbers in some capacity. When leaving school, I noticed an ad in the local newspaper in Longford, advertizing a course to learn bookkeeping. I was so excited, I signed up right away. I was disturbed however, when, on the first day, the teacher lectured us about allergies, and how to treat rashes, stings and so on. I thought it highly unusual. On our second day, he brought some guest speakers in, who discussed honey, its uses, and how to manufacture it. I was a little angry, as what had this got to do with bookkeeping and finances? It was only three weeks later, when me and the other students were fitted for beekeeping uniforms, that I realized my poor spelling had struck again, and it wasn’t a bookkeeping course I’d signed up for. I moved to South Dakota some time later, more out of embarrassment than anything. I’m still interested in numbers, but when I see a jar of honey, a Winnie the Pooh toy or hear a bee, I burst into tears”. – Dorothy (49), formerly Longford, now South Dakota.

Caroline’s Story, formerly Roscommon, now Miami.

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

12074547_752486191547415_458315201180350645_n“One time my Da tied a rope around the branches of an oul’ tree behind our house, to make a swing. It was fairly dangerous and kids kept slipping off the rope and crashing through our greenhouse. I think 14 kids ended up in the Emergency Room because of that. So one day, my Da had a great idea, he tied a car tyre to it, so we could sit in it, and swing. That was brilliant, until our neighbor, Timmy Gillespie, noticed one of the tyres from his Toyota Carina was missing, and so was the rope that he had in the trunk of his car. So that was the end of that. Da also robbed Timmy’s ladder and his lawnmower, but they were unconnected to our swing adventures. We emigrated to the States shortly after that, settling in Miami. Now Da just robs beach umbrellas and swimming pool items from the neighbors. Loves robbin’ stuff, so he does”. – Caroline (33), formerly Roscommon, now Miami.

Bernie’s Story – Formerly Sligo, now Arizona.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

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“It was petty crime that forced me to grow up and emigrate. I remember one time, back in Sligo, I got convicted for stealing the same slab of butter twice in three days from our local shop. I was only caught, because it turned out I was allergic to dairy and they found me in a distressed state, vomiting and crying for mammy, in a ditch by the side of the Galway road. Since I landed in the US I’ve barely been in trouble. Once I got cautioned for throwing underpants onstage at a Tom Jones concert, but I’d forgotten to take them out of the hard plastic wrapping, and it hit poor Tom’s drummer in the eye”. Bernie 51, Arizona, formerly Sligo.

Oliver’s story – Kerry, now North Dakota.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

pup“When we were kids, my grandfather, who hailed from County Kerry, used to scare us all by putting a sock on his hand and chase us around the garden pretending he had a monster up his sleeve. Then one day, the Gardai (police) arrived and took him away. We were devastated, until our parents later told us that he wasn’t actually our grandfather, just some weird oul’ fellah who used to love chasing people with socks on his hands. We moved to North Dakota after the fuss died down’. – Oliver (29), Kerry, now North Dakota.

David’s story (Wicklow, now Brooklyn).

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

gard“Before we moved to Brooklyn, my brother was mad into the film, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you know, the original, with Gene Wilder. Not the Johnny Depp one, sure that’s shite. Anyway, he never got the hang of videos or anything, so he’d record it every time it was on, and even ask the neighbors to record it too. He’d give them tapes and everything. It got to the stage where we’d 276 VHS cassettes of that stupid bloody film in our spare room, and me Da ended up setting fire to them out the back one day for a laugh. It was no joke when me brother came home from work though, I’ll tell you. He threw me Da’s bike over the back wall, and I think the neighbor’s dog might have done something in poor taste to it. We emigrated shortly after’. – David (61), Wicklow, now Brooklyn.

Cheryl’s Story – Missouri, formerly Lucan, County Dublin.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A hippo and Dublin girl Cheryl. We’re not sure where the hippo’s from. Probably Sligo.

“We had to leave Ireland back in the early 1980s, following an incident at the circus. My brother Stevie dared me to put on a girl’s wig, take off my trousers and run up to a hippo with a stick in my hand. I’d not done anything quite that zany before, but I thought what the hell. Before we knew it, we were all over the news, and the animal welfare people were calling for me to be put in a military school and to be made do a school project about hippos. I wouldn’t have minded that, but, my folks decided it’d be better all round if we just emigrated’. – Cheryl (27), Lucan, County Dublin, now Missouri.

Darren’s Story (Idaho, formerly Leitrim).

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Left to Right: A toilet, Darren.

“When we emigrated from Leitrim to Idaho back in the early ’80s, there wasn’t much for us kids to do. When we lived in Leitrim, I enjoyed playing all kinds of sports, but upon arriving in our new neighborhood, I realized there were very few children here. So, I began a new hobby. I started collecting toilets. Initially, I’d climb through the windows of derelict houses in the area and just take them, until it got so bad, that we’d 14 unconnected toilets in our bathroom, and there were all kinds of accidents happening, especially when our elderly relatives came to stay. So yeah, I guess now, I ain’t got no hobbies’. – Darren (38) Leitrim, now Idaho.