Packing today; flying back to the US east coast tomorrow for several purposes: Dean, a member of the Joy Duck Club, kindly offered an opportunity to crew aboard his Diesel Duck 382 MV Jubilee from Solomons MD to the 1,000 Islands on Lake Ontario. Also it's a chance to visit with my youngest brother Tom, and his great kids Fred and Valerie. And there will be collateral visiting with my cousin Tom, his wonderful family and other Nagle cousins who I will write about more later. Most imminent though, is a visit with my Uncle Jim. Jim is, as he describes himself "the last of the Mohicans" as far as my father's immediate family; my dad, his parents of course, his brothers Tom and John and sister Helen Bernadette have all passed. A NYC family one generation post-immigration from Ireland, they grew up poor but tough (but also kind). Both my dad and his brother (the uncle I'm going to visit) Jim, attended Rice HS (a Christian Brothers school at W 124th & Lennox in Harlem) . Dad was in the first graduating class at Rice, after being kicked out of St Tolentine HS (I did mention they were tough kids) and into the US Army and paratroops out of HS. His brother Jim, graduating a year later, entered the Marine Corp and on the night before Dad was being shipped out to England, prior to the D-Day invasion, Uncle Jim went AWOL from his USMC training at Camp Lejeune to hitchhike to Dad's camp at Bragg or Benning (I don't know witch). Jim wanted see his big brother before he got shipped overseas, and took his punishment for going AWOL. Anyway, Uncle Jim's getting a bit fragile, and it's time I went AWOL myself to go see him (before he ships out). [Update** I am unable to post photos on the blog at this time, but I've posted pics on my Facebook account -- DavidEllis Nagle Boat -- of the NYC Nagle family then & now]
Living aboard, living the cruising life, isn't always lost boys, wendy, fights with pirates, tinkerbell, pixie-dust and never-never land. Sometimes real life insists on equal time:
Home again, home again, jiggity jog04/01/2012, photo: Arlene, Nela, Tjasa at Leung Shuen Wan, Hong Kong
March 17, St Patrick's Day, I went up to Pleasant Hill Cemetery to visit my dad, and share a few drops of his favorite Tillamora Dew with him. Possibly a few too many drops into communing with Dad, I spied what appeared to be a leprechaun, peering at me from behind the bench and memorial structure at Charlie Shultz's grave a few yards away. Thinking this was my chance for that pot-o-gold, I tried sneaking up on the little fellow, but he took off thru the gravestones, jiggity jig, like a winger on a rugby pitch with me in full pursuit... until I fell headlong into an open grave - lights out! When I gained consciousness, it was night-time and I was sprawled on a set of stone steps, with strange, but familiar lights, sounds and smells around me... the sampan quay at Sui King ma tau, Sham Wan, Hong Kong! It's taken 'til now, April Fool's Day to find my way home.
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