The Irish Bridget

May 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

the-irish-bridgetThe Irish Bridget is the title of a newly released book written by a local author, Margaret Lynch-Brennan. It’s a study of the female Irish immigrant domestic, or servant girl in America….I guess. I don’t really know, I haven’t read the book…yet. I did buy it though. What is of interest to me, is that there’s a picture and mention of my grandmother in it. When I heard about the book, and how my grandmother was a part of it, I smiled. You had to know my gram…she was a character…from what I remember. She passed away when I was a teen…and like many teens…I didn’t have the time, nor the interest in getting to know Catherine Marie Larkin-Vaughn as a woman, or much about her life history. It’s one of my biggest regrets in life. She is the woman I named my own daughter after. God Bless Her….she had a hell of a life…a young woman,,crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a ship, unescourted. What it must have been like for her….I can’t imagine. She married, had four daughters…and when the oldest was 11…and the youngest, 4…her husband died. She received no help from anyone. When my mother would tell me that her mother received no help…I couldn’t tell if she were proud of her mother, or bitter…because there was family on my grandfather’s side who could have possibly helped in some way….but instead, back to work she went. I know that she worked for a New York State Governor Black…and I know that one of her employers sent my gram to cooking school…my mother would laugh because her mother fixed pate de Foie Gras for lunch. Before cooking school…my mom said they would share a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup. My mother told me that they were told never let anyone into the house…but if a begger came to the door, to give him a sandwich, and send him on his way. My grandmother apparently thought Jesus Christ could come to their door, disguised as a begger. That’s the way the story went, anyway.
As I look at the portrait of my grandmother…I wonder why I never noticed how much my mother and she looked alike.
Gram

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%$^&* Happy Mother’s Day

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