Saturday, September 23, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 78 (Article when my mom ended her tenure on City Council)

From the Douglas Dispatch 
Sunday, June 23, 1996
By Jame F Crane

A Life of Accomplishment
Margaret Shannon after retirement

She is so small that is is easy to overlook her in a crowd.   But start listing Margaret Shannon's accomplishments and her contributions to her native Douglas, and her stature exceeds that of most citizens.

Among other things, Margaret Shannon

*Was the first female department head at Phelps Dodge, heading up the company's Hardware Jobbing Division prior to her retirement in 1982

*Represented Ward 5 on the City Council for 12 years.

*Chaired the city's Finance Committee for 12 years.

*Spent seven years on the board of St. Vincent de Paul

*Is the president-elect of the Cochise County Fair Association, of which she has been a member for 10 years.

The early years

The fifth of seven children, Margaret Scott Shannon was in the first first-grade class at Loretto Academy in 1924.

"Oh, I enjoyed it."  she said.  "And I got a good education there."

Her father, a railroad conductor known for his prodigious memory, was ready to take his family to Texas so his children could attend a Catholic School. "But then Loretto opened" she said.  "It was a very, very good school.  There were music and plays and debates.   And students got all of the classroom attention that they needed."

"They were double classes, too."  she said, with two grades put together in one classroom.   While it sounds odd today, having third and fourth graders in the same room allowed a student to more readily find his or her own level.

And education didn't stop at Loretto's door.  Her dad made the children memorize a poem to recite each Friday.  "And all of the states and their capitols." Shannon said.    "We had to learn those, too.   He was a strong believer in memorizing.

After graduating from Loretto, she attended Gregg's Business College.   When the young Margaret walked out of that institution, she was able to walk into a job as a clerk at the Arizona Tax Commission.

However, she soon moved on to a better job as a case worker at the Industrial Commission.   "It was like the workman's compensation of today," she said.  "We had to deal with the claims of injured workers."

The Phelps Dodge Years

In 1950, Shannon returned to Douglas and went to work for Phelps Dodge as an invoice clerk.  "Phelps Dodge was a fine employer."  she said.   "They were very good to me."  Apparently she was very good for Phelps Dodge, as well, because from invoice clerk she rose to head the Hardware Jobbing Division at the big warehouse down on 9th Street, the first female head in the Phelps Dodge operations.

In addition to being responsible for keeping on hand everything everything Phelps Dodge needed for its Arizona operations, she also had to keep the hardware goods local contractors needed, because the jobbing division was a wholesale outlet.

"By hardware, I mean ten inch pipes, steel I beams, H beams, roofing paper and things like that," she said.

To give you an idea of the size of the "hardware" she's talking about, that dinky on display in the lot on 11th Street came out of that warehouse.  "That railroad engine was used to move the steel beams in the warehouse." she said.

Did her male cohorts give her a hard time? "No." she said.  "Never.  The men were just wonderful.  I had no problems with them at all."

After working for Phelps Dodge for a total of 35 years, Shannon retired in 1982.   She had worked in the Phelps Dodge mercantile during high school, time that counted toward her seniority.

"And then I woke up one morning and discovered that the city had moved me into Ward 5 from Ward 6." she said.  And that made me mad," she said.   I had lived in Ward 6 all of my life."  She didn't like being redistricted out of a life-long affiliation.

"So I went down and took out a petition," she said.  And she ran for City Council.   And she not only won, "But I won big, too," she said.

That spur of the moment decision to get involved led to 12 years on the Douglas City Council.

"On any issue of importance, I always surveyed the ward." she said.  Sometimes she would call as many as 200 of her constituents in order to get a sense of how they felt about an issue.

"I always voted what the ward wanted," she said.  

"I think that is always fair." 

What was her most important important accomplishment while on the council?   "We kept the city in the black through the real rough times."

Shannon is quick to praise both former mayor Elizabeth Ames and what she called the "bright people at City Hall."

"We have some excellent department heads," she said.

The former mayor, the city council, and the people of City Hall, working together, helped lay the groundwork for some of the good things that are happening in Douglas today, she said, like the opening of the Unique Molded Products plant.

"The city worked hard to get it," she said.  "Industrial development is important.   Unemployment is a big problem."

And what of the future?   For the city where she was born and raised, where she has spent most of her life, and where she helped guide for 12 years, she is optimistic.

"There's a big market for tourism,' she said.  "I'd like to see a one-night-in Mexico-one-night in Douglas kind of package put together.  What an experience for tourists that would be!"

And she sees Douglas as being right now "in a position to move.  It's a great town, and undiscovered town."

Personally her plans are to continue on the board of St. Vincent de Paul and to continue to support St. Luke's Church.  She has just taken over as president of the County Fair Association, and she plays bridge twice a week.

"But I really don't feel all that busy." she said.   


Friday, September 22, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 77 (My mom's final election)

Another great find in Douglas this past weekend.   This would have been from my mom's third and final term on the Douglas City Council.   She spent 12 years on the council.   This was 1992 so her term was up in 1996.   She was 79 in her last year.

The first time that she ran, I was still teaching.  But I took three personal days and took my kids down to Douglas.  I wanted them to participate in her election and the whole process.  I felt it was important because it was their grandma and because of the importance of voting and civic responsibility.

It was so much fun the day of the election.   Teresa, my mom, myself and a lot of volunteers picked up people and drove them to the polls to vote.   My mom was checking off names on the list of registered voters and making phone calls to those on the list to make sure that they voted.   It was a great lesson on democracy for them (and me, too)!

She was running against an incumbent the first time.  It is sometimes difficult to beat an incumbent.   However, my mom had a lot of respect in Douglas.  

When the polls closed, we went up to where they were counting the votes.   Of course, things were so different in the 80's.   Votes had to be counted by hand.

She won by a very large majority and I remember the party at our house that night. The house was completely full and the celebration was so much fun.

I remember when she first decided to run, I was down there and we went around and got advertisements taken care of.  My favorite one was when we went over to Agua Prieta and had one of the stations there do announcements in Spanish to vote for her. 

She ran two more times after that and each time she had someone run against her and each time she won!!!

She loved being on the City Council and she was Vice-Mayor for much of that time.   Liz Ames was the Mayor.  

When we spent our summers in Douglas, she was on the phone a lot, going to meetings, etc. It was almost a full time job for her.  I believe she was paid $100 a month.

I never had any aspirations for running for office.  However, when I made the decision to run for GPS Governing Board, I knew she would have been very proud and would have come and helped me.  And I know she would have loved how many votes I got in this conservative community!!

I have thought that I may only run for one term, but with how things are going in our District now, I may consider another run. 

As for me, it has been an almost full time job for the last several months.  And board members don't get paid anything.   However, I have had the time to devote to it.  I guess I learned from the best!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 76 (Teresa-Citizen of the Year)

Another incredible find in Douglas was this.   It was all of the information when Teresa was Citizen of the Year in 1994.    It was such an incredible experience as many of our family "secretly" came to Douglas to surprise Teresa.   She had no idea that everyone was going to be there and she was so touched by the family being there.  I remember everyone hiding in the kitchen of the Country Club and then coming out one by one to surprise her.

All of the family wore the buttons that are shown in the pictures above.   It was a great night and a great tribute that so many family members were there!!

Here is the article from the Douglas Dispatch.

Teresa Scott is the 
Citizen of the Year

The  Douglas Chamber of Commerce had its 29th Annual Awards Banquet last Saturday evening at the Douglas Golf and Social Club.

The highlight of this event is the announcement of the selection of the Citizen of the Year.   Teresa Scott was the recipient, in a presentation last year's winner, John Meeks.  There were many members of Teresa's family and friends present for the occasion, including a significant out of town delegation.

Scott served the City of Douglas for many years before retiring as chief bookkeeper,and has devoted her life to helping out a wide variety of organizations with her time and skills.   She learned computers at an age when most have stopped learning and applied that knowledge to providing much needed booking and payroll services to community groups.

Among her clients, served without charge are Loretto School, St. Luke's Parish, Immaculate Conception Parish, Douglas Association for Retarded Citizens and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Teresa's comment Saturday night reveals one of the reasons she was selected.  Wen asked about her reaction to being selected as Citizen of the Year, she modestly answered "I don't deserve it, but I'll take it!"

Here is her nomination:

1994's Citizen of the Years was born in Douglas and with the exception of several school years, has been a life-long resident of Douglas.   The family, including the recipient's parents and siblings,  has had an active role in the promotion of and service to the community, and this service has been carried out quietly and consistently throughtout our recipient's life.

After three decades of employment with the City of Douglas, our recipient retired to a busy life of continued service to many in the community.   Starting a computer service following retirement, this person is providing bookkeeping services, in some cases at no cost, to Loretto School, St. Luke's Church, Immaculate Conception Church and others.  Douglas Association for Retarded Citizens, St. Luke's finance committee and the St. Vincent de Paul's Thrift Store are additional interests.

It is not unusual to find our citizen providing day care for friends so that they might have several hours or an afternoon away from their care-giving duties and this is done with love and compassion.  Our citizen has been an active member of Beta Sigma Phi for many years and has taken an active role in the selection of the Lady of the Year on numerous occasions.

A friend of the community, a loving sister and aunt, devoted Mother and doting Grandmother, 1994's most deserving citizen of the year--Teresa Scott.  


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 75 (An article Teresa cut from the Dispatch)

As we were cleaning out drawers, cabinets, etc., this past weekend, I found a couple of things that touched my heart so much.   I have posted several really old articles that I found in the old desk, but these articles that we found were from after I moved to Douglas in 2010.

Judy found the first newspaper article that Teresa had started to put in an album.  It was about something that had happened after I became superintendent.  Teresa had cut the article out and started to put it into an album.  It was the only article in the album.    Although it made me teary, we threw it away because there is no way we can keep everything that we found in Douglas.

When I got back on Sunday night, I had brought several articles to go through thinking that they were old ones and I would find some interesting information to put on my blog.  

I was putting a few things away and glanced at a series of articles from the Dispatch that were paper clipped together.    They were with some things from my mom so I assumed that they were about her.   But they weren't.  And that is what touched my heart and actually made me cry. I know that she was so happy to have me there because she was able to stay in Douglas, but also because she loved having family members in the house with her.

The title of the first article was "The year of the community hero."  It was a two part story about  how one person can make a big difference in organizations coming together to make a difference in a community.  It further talked abut different agencies that advocate together to best serve the community.    It is a fairly long article and I am not going to put it all on this post.   I then read the second part that was a week later and realized why Teresa had cut it out.  

The title of the second article is "Year of the community hero: Kids programs."  This article talks about all of the things that DUSD did with outside agencies including the University of Arizona Coooperative extension, DHS mentors, members of AmeriCorps, and several faculty members from DUSD.

Adriana Romero is a community activist who has done a lot of work bringing people and organizations together.   Here  is what she said in the article:

Romero credits many of these after school initiatives to the leadership of Superintendent Sheila Rogers.  "I think her vision has helped to improve the school district and opened a variety of resources for them.  The after school program that the school district and city have in place is an excellent example of improving the community."  Romero added, "very few communities are able to work together to pull this off."

This year has been a year of heroes working together for positive transformation, but it may be that the biggest community here is Douglas herself.   As Family Leadership Institute's Consuelo Kickbusch once observed, "Douglas will not give up on still believes families first.  So when you have among all  the gifts a community can have, these two gifts , there is hope, and where there is hope, there will be change."

I guess I didn't even realize Teresa had read the paper, let alone cut out the article.   Between this and the one that she started in the album really got to me.   I sat here at home and had a good cry.   Teresa always said that it is good to cry and get it all out and then she would say that her dad said that the reason people cry is that their bladders are too close to their eyes.  I always loved it when she said that.

Finding these things that I didn't know about has really been another blessing and again made me realize how much those five years meant to both of us.   

Although she is in such a better place because the last year of her life  was difficult, I will never regret those five years with  her for many, many reasons.    

I know that time will help and I know that having closure in Douglas is going to make a difference.    I am still dreading the selling of the house.   Although it will no longer be in our family, no one can take away the many wonderful memories.  

As Rose Kennedy said, "It has been said that time heals all wounds.  I don't agree.  The wounds remain.  Time--the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens but it is never gone."

And as my favorite author, Carmen Agra Deedy says, "Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told."   

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

94 Days Remembered in 94 posts-Post 74 (Starting the process to sell 858)

Last Friday afternoon, Judy and I went to Douglas to start the process of cleaning out almost 100 years of "stuff" at 858.    I have been absolutely dreading this.    Since Teresa died in July,  I knew this was inevitable and knew that the day would come where we would have to get started.

The top video is of a storm when we first got here.  I had let the pugs in the front yard while was getting things from my car.   It wasn't raining in the back yard, but the front was a different story.   Poor Diego and Seamus were completely drenched!!

Not only was a dreading the closure that this brings to so much of my life, it is also a lot of work.   

We went to dinner at the Gadsden.  As always, the Mexican food was delicious.  After that, Judy went back to the house and I met Carol, Lisa and Gabriel for drinks at the Gadsden.  I always love reconnecting with them.   Carol was my secretary during my tenure down here at superintendent and I absolutely love her.   Lisa is the best, too.

Saturday morning started with getting rid of all of  Teresa's clothes.  I took care of most of that upstairs and got all of the drawers and closets emptied.    We are donating the clothes.    

Judy took care of the downstairs.  I helped her a bit.   So much of what we found isn't worth saving.   I am taking the desk that belonged to my grandfather and a nice cedar chest upstairs.   Other than that, I have everything I wanted.

We found a great lady as a realtor who Carol knows.   She sent one of her brokers and they will do more of an appraisal in the next few weeks.  Douglas is a poor town and there are many vacant houses, but still a bit of a housing shortage.  I don't know if it is because people can't afford houses or what. We are probably going to ask for something in the high 80's which is almost unbelievable to me that a house like this and a yard and garage could go for so little.  But that is the market here in Douglas. 

Next weekend, Kerri and Chris will come down and get the few things that Kerri wants from the house.

As we were going through drawers and cabinets, I came across this picture.  My mom was a friend of Rose Mofford.  Rose was the first woman governor of Arizona and Saturday was the first anniversary of her death.  To find this picture on that day  meant a lot.   I love my mom's smile on her face.   So much of what we found today brought back memories of her.    I can only say that when all is said and done and this chapter of my life is closed, it will be with much love and great memories.
I will be back the first two weeks in October to finish packing, etc    Judy and Kerri will come the second week which is their fall break.    Our Phoenix cousins will be here  some of the time to help.

I also have my 50th class reunion that last weekend and that will be a nice diversion.   I wasn't sure if I would go or not because I didn't know the timeline for the house.   I know that it is going to be very difficult for me to come back to Douglas and not stay at 858.     

I am grateful we still have the cabin.   That is such an important part of my childhood (and adult) memories.

As hard as this is, I really want it to be done and to bring that closure so that I can move forward.

Memories of the good times can never be taken away.    This is the end of our family's 105 years of living in Douglas, Arizona.    For the first time in that many years, there will be no Scott's in Douglas.    And our family contributed so much  through the years at many different levels.   

Monday, September 18, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Posts-Post 73 (Finding Irish Cousins)

I started my blog when Patrick and I went to Ireland in 2008. When Teresa and I went to Ireland in 1978, we did everything we could to try to find information about Grandma Roughan's family in County Mayo.  There were very few records kept so we didn't have a lot of luck.  

One day I had a comment on one of my posts.   It was from Michelle Knefsay O'Sullivan.  Our great grandmother's name was Knefsay which is not a common name.  And because she couldn't read or write, she never had the exact spelling.

I responded to her but knew that she might not see it as she would have to go back on my blog.  I waited a few weeks and found her phone number and called her.   

We have remained in contact and I absolutely believe that we are distantly related.  She came to Arizona in 2009.  Here is my post from then:

I have a lot to write about for this weekend, but that will have to come later as we have a lot going on over the next few days. Our cousin, Maggie, is getting married in a few hours and we are getting ready to go into Phoenix to St. Mary's Basilica. So many of our wonderful family members are here for this weekend.

For those of you who have followed my blog over the past year and a half, you might recall that because of my blog, I found a cousin in Ireland. Her name is the same as my great grandmother's, Kneafsey, and her family is from County Mayo where my great grandmother came from. Well, she is here for this weekend for Maggie's wedding and to meet our Aunt Teresa and all of the family.

Michele brought pictures from Ireland and a lot of information about our roots. I intend to write much more about this in the next few weeks, as well as write about the wedding. However, I wanted to post this with a picture until I have more time.

It has been wonderful getting to know Michele. She is delightful!!

This picture is from the old Kneafsey homestead in Foxford, County Mayo. It is a picture of the hearth, the heart of the family cottage. This is unbelievable to me for so many reasons.....

Sunday, September 17, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 72 (Letter from trip to Ireland in 1978)

To follow up with yesterday's post, here is a letter Teresa wrote to the family after our trip to Ireland in 1978.  It is from a previous post. I have included the whole post.

Tonight I was at school for a wonderful program put on by our fourth graders. Our music teacher, Clare, is the best there is. As always, it was a wonderful evening. Parents and children were all so positive. It was a good way to begin spring break!

When I got home about 7:00, my aunt Teresa called from Douglas and reminded me that she had left some things at Judy's from our trip to Ireland in 1978. Judy brought them over and there was a great letter that she wrote to the family after her trip. Of course, 30 years ago we didn't have computers, so it was type written. We tried scanning it, but the paper is so thin. I am going to retype it here for our family to see (and anyone else who might be interested.)

April 23, 1978

Dear All:

I had a wonderful vacation, it was perfect from start to finish. John and Joan had Judy fly to Dallas on Thursday afternoon shortly after we arrived. It was a real surprise and a perfect ending to a great vacation. We stayed in Dallas until Sunday evening.

I left here on March 11th at 1:00 A.M. and flew to Washington. Mary and Tom had Ellen, Nick and their two darling children, Pat, Phil and their four darling children, Phil's dad and Mary's brother George and family and Tommy for dinner. We had a real good dinner and visit. I left Washington on Sunday morning and flew to N.Y and then to Frankfurt. Sheila, Jim and Kerri met me there. Kerri loved me so much, kept patting me and kissing me, this went on for a week. Jim thought she didn't realize how much she had missed us until she saw me. On Thursday we started out on a trip through the southern part of Germany. We went to the Black Forest. It's beautiful. I never saw so much snow in my life. We went into Austria and Switzerland and went to Mass on Palm Sunday at Garmish. Judy Frances, we saw the area where you used to live and work. All of Sheila's friends had me over to their houses for either dinner or parties. They sure are a nice group of people.

On Holy Saturday, we flew to Dublin. A teacher that Sheila teaches with went with us in our car and two other teachers were in another car. I got a lump in my throat when we landed in Ireland. There was a special feeling when we got into County Mayo. It's hard to describe. The people are great, very friendly and go out of their way to be helpful. Sheila did a good job of driving. It's on the wrong side of the road and of course you shift with your left hand. The car was a new Avenger, made by Chrysler, bright red. We had a little trouble finding our way out of Dublin, but after an hour were on our way to Wexford where we spent the first night. Everything closes up at 11:00 P.M. so we stopped in Ashford at Marty O'Gara's restaurant to have dinner. It was cold. There was a fire in the fireplace in the bar and after we ordered dinner, they suggested we sit near the fire. We visited with two women and the owner. These women wanted us to try the Guiness beer, so they ordered for us and then told us not to drink it unless it was on tap because it wasn't much good in the bottles. We stayed in the Talbot Hotel in Wexford and went to Mass there on Easter and then started out for Cork. On the way we stopped in Youghal at Ahern's Pub because the women had told us it was nice and they had good sea food and they did.

There is a lot of house construction going on all over Ireland. Everything looked prosperous. We stayed in Blarney that night and the motel was full. Everybody was on vacation because of Easter and everything was closed on Monday. I was talking to the man at the motel and I mentioned my Grandfather's name was Roughan. He said right away "Oh, that's a Clare name." We looked in the telephone book and there are two pages of Scotts, 20 Godfreys, but there were only four Kneafsey's and nine Roughans. The next morning we went to Kiss the Blarney Stone and then on to Killarney.

On the way there was a lot of traffic coming the other way because there was a car rally that started in Belfast and was going all the way around Ireland. In the bar in the Motel at Killarney, we met two delightful young girls from the North of Ireland. They wanted us to visit up there. They said the fighting wasn't as bad as the paper said. They said you stay out of the area where the trouble is and you're O.K. One also told us she sure wished she was related to us.

We left Killarney on Tuesday morning and stopped in Limerick. I called Patrick Kneafsey. He told me his family all came from County Mayo and that his Uncle Bill had died on Good Friday at 83 years old. Twenty five years ago he had cancer and they had given him two months to live. He went to Knock and his cure was one of the recorded ones.

I asked him if the name Scally sounded familiar to him and he said it did. He said his father's name was Tom. He told me he was an Engineer and comes to America quite often on the East coast. I asked him to call me the next time he came and also gave him Tom's address because he gets to Washington and he said he would like to. He also said his Grandfather was a school master at something Castle and I misunderstood him and I thought it was Castle bar. He told me he thought some of the family would still be there that had come for the funeral. An uncle and aunt were retiring and moving back to stay at Murphy's Guest House and he said you won't have trouble finding it because the town is small. There was another Kneafsey in Limerick but he told me he had been transferred to Dublin and was not related to him. He also told me he had a cousin, Patrick Rice, who lived in Dublin and was interested in trying to keep track of relatives and he gave his telephone number. There was a Desmond Kneafsey in Galway that was also a cousin. When we got to Galway, I tried to call him but the telephone strike was on and the call wouldn't go through. This Kneafsey is a surgeon.

On Wednesday morning we started out for County Mayo and went to Knock. Everything there was closed because it wasn't the tourist season or there wasn't a Pilgrimage. The priest there told me they didn't keep any records until 1869, which I asked if the marriage records were sent back. He said they didn't keep them and I asked if the deaths were recorded and he said no. But he told us where to find some Kneafsay's so we followed his instructions and found the house. A young boy was there and he told us they weren't from the area and had just moved there and his father was not at home. We went further down the road and another man gave us directions to find a man who was about 70 years old and a brother to the people in the other house. He said there was a widow in another location but she wouldn't know anything. We took his word for that and tried to find the man but didn't. The road we thought may have led to his house was muddy and I was afraid of getting stuck. It was raining and the wind was blowing. We did stop and ask at another house and they gave us directions back to the first house so we decided to give it up. We went back into Knock and got some Holy Water and I have some for all of us. When we were driving around Knock, Sheila said she sure had a strong feeling that this was the area where her Grandmother's heritage came from. We went to the cemetery but didn't find anything there. We went on to Castlebar and there wasn't a Murphy's Guest House there so we went on to Westport. The lady with us was interested in this town. We went in a pub there and were visiting with the owners and she mentioned the name of her grandmother and he told her there were some still living there. So he went to the other side of the pub and got one of his customers to take us to this man's house which was on Crough Patrick. They wanted us to come in and have tea and the lady brought us some soda bread just like what Grandma used to make. She told me that the Kneafsay's lived in Foxford and there were still some living there but by this time it was getting late and the roads are good but one lane each way and lots of curves so we didn't go there. Foxford is not far from Castlebar but in a different direction. We took a different road from Galway.

The next day we went to Dublin and stayed at the Tara Hotel. I called Patrick Rice and talked to his wife and she told me she would have him call when he got home from work. He really was nice and very friendly. He is the Chief Auditor for Aer Lingus. They were also having a strike. He told me the town was Ballycastle where his grandfather had lived. He died in 1929 and was 63 years old and he never knew him. He still has three aunts living and he will contact them and see if they know anything. If there is any connection his grandfather would have to be Grandma's nephew. He told me an uncle told him that they had a relative who fought in the Civil War in a big battle in Pennsylvania and was a general. He said he would meet us at the airport. We were supposed to leave at 11:00 A.M. but he told me he didn't think we would because of the strike. We left about 5:00 P.M. We arranged to meet at the sweet place (which is a 31 flavors) and it's strange but with the crowd there I walked to him and he to me and we visited for about an hour. He reminds me of someone, but I haven't been able to put a finger on who it is or what it is. I know this doesn't mean much, but I sure have a feeling there is a connection.

I forgot to tell you when we were on our way from Killarney to Galway, we stopped in Ennis at John J. Roughan's Hardware Store. We had a nice visit with John and his wife. He said he didn't know anything about relatives but to go to the P.P. and he could hlep. The P.P. is the Parish Priest. We didn't connect with the P.P. He was out of town.

I told both Patricks that I wish there was a connection between us because they were so nice. Patrick Rice comes over here sometimes, but he said in the New York and Boston area, but will call the next time he comes.

I left Germany on Sunday morning and Kerri decided she wouldn't come home with me because her mommy and daddy would be too lonesome. She had decided she was going to keep the new baby even it it was a boy. Her daddy was teasing her and told her little boys tear up things like books so she decided she wasn't going to keep him if he was a boy. It took a while for him to convince her that he was only teasing. She told me she would see me in three months.

When I landed in Washington, Tom, Tommy, Margaret, Debbie, Barbie, Pat and her children were at the airport and we all went to Tom and Mary's for dinner. Bea Krentz and her husband came over too. We looked at the movies from the Family Reunion. Washington is beautiful. The Cherry Blossoms were out and the flowers beautiful.

The next day Peggy Mathieu came in from Phillipsburg. She is Aunt Catherine's (Grandma's Sister) granddaughter. We all sure had a good time visiting. We went down to Tom and Mary's farm and it is beautiful. This was on Tuesday. I had never met Peggy but Margaret had in 1935. We really enjoyed visiting with her. I hope she comes out our way one of these years.

Mary took us to the Kennedy Center and it is beautiful. We really enjoyed it. It was great that Debbie and Barbie could get down to see us. Barbie is graduating in May and Debbie is going back to Switzerland on a summer job for two months.

We left Washington on Thursday and flew to Dallas. Joan picked us up and then I told you a few hours later John and Judy came in. I couldn't believe it. Mary Lou was Confirmed on Friday so we were there for her big day. We met a lot of their friends and they sure are nice.

We arrived home Sunday night about 10:30 P.M. This is a mighty long letter but wanted to put as much information as I could in it in case someone else gets to go sometime and I sure hope they do because I sure would enjoy it. We've always known there was no one like the Irish but I believe it more than ever now.

God Bless all of you,