Friday, September 12, 2014


He came to this country as a young man, and in his time, wasted very little of it. He was a hard working man and a family man. His family was very important to him, and don’t pinch pennies on their education. He and his lovely wife Helen denied themselves so they could give their children the best education available, as they saw it. Had he been given a chance along the line, he would have had a remarkable career in whatever he tried. In Ireland he was taught by the Christian Brothers in a humble town called Mullingar, Westmeath Ireland..

His life was simple, after his wife and children, there was his job, he ran the Tom McAn shoe store in Bayshore, employed his kids there after school and during the summers. His free time was spent helping out at the church, St. Mary’s in East Islip, and on Sundays, when he wasn’t working reading the New York Times, doing the crossword puzzle and editing the Sunday Times, then sending in the edits to point out the mistakes the so-called proof readers made.

I am told he was very good with numbers, quick to do the math without pencil or paper and sat in his chair and ruled his world with cranky stubbornness and opinion, coated with love. You couldn’t help but love him, he was an Irishman with a brogue, who also owned an opinion, didn’t like confrontation and want to leave his TV and his Sunday news talk shows.

Jim was the kind of man that made me laugh, he had opinions, moods and was in all of that a gentle soul, gentle enough for me to respect him as a man, a great father and provider, and really an embodiment of the American Dream, coming here to America from Ireland as a young man.

Today would be his birthday: 104, and how can you not go by this day without thinking of him? He wasn’t anyone for fanfare, boasting was not in him, just the goodness he taught his children, and I was lucky enough to see in his daughter and children.

Happy Birthday Jim, Dad and Grandpa!


Address: 1231 Taft Hwy, Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Hours: Open today · 10:00 am – 6:00 pm



Post a Comment

<< Home