I went out to run an errand on Wednesday and spotted someone walking along wearing a green sweater, green skirt, and green tights. None of them were precisely the same shade of green, nor did they blend in a completely harmonious manner, but they did convey a brazen greenness.
That’s when I realized that, even though I knew it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was not wearing anything green. Fortunately, I was also not wearing anything orange. This is important among those of us who can trace some of their heritage back to the Irish Diaspora.
My Irish ancestors were not Orangemen. My great-great grandfather, Florence McCarthy, followed his brother Dennis to the States in about 1850. They were McCarthys from County Cork.
My grandmother Omega was devoted to her grandfather. He named her — he was a scholar of classics (like my nephew, his great-great-great grandson) and taught Latin and Greek before taking a job with the railroad.
My grandmother was the only person I knew growing up who despised the English. I may have picked up her distaste from some discussion about the coronation of Elizabeth II, though I would have been a tiny child then, but at any rate it was very plain. Continue reading “Family History on St. Patrick’s Day”…