Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lick One, You Gotta Lick 'em All and Other Stories

The McDonough clan was pretty tough. My grandfather was John F. McDonough. He came over to this country from Ireland with his mother when he was 12. My father was one of …I can't remember how many brothers and sisters he had. Uncle Joe was the oldest, then Harry, Edward (my father), and Andy,…Katherine, I think and Margaret. Walter was the youngest. My grandfather was the patriarch of the family and everyone did what he said. Even when they got older and had families of their own. If he called them up and said they were playing cards tonight—by golly, they would be there.

When Uncle Andy got married (to Loretta), the whole family went to see Helen Hayes in Golden Days. Half way through the show my grandfather stands up and says, "This is a lot of damn nonsense. Let's go home and play cards." So everyone had to file out of the theater. My grandmother nearly died. She was so embarrassed.

I think my father and his brothers were pretty rough. On Fourth of July they would shoot off fire crackers and shoot guns. I think one of my father's brothers shot himself in the hand with a gun on the 4th. They were crazy.

One winter they were sled riding down South Orange Avenue and my father crashed into a trolley car. He hurt himself, but they would not dare tell their father. They snuck him home and fixed him up themselves.

They all went to Seton Hall and played football. If the team was short a player, they would get another McDonough boy to fill in, even though he might not go to the school at the time.

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