The FIve Year Irish Honeymoon

  I am the grandchild of immigrants and the daughter of gypsies.

 My paternal grandfather left his Irish home in County Sligo at the turn of the last century and
came to Boston in search of his future. His son and daughter-in-law left their Boston homes at
the midpoint of that century and went to Ireland in search of their past. This journey began a
lifelong love affair with Ireland for my parents and their ten children, two of whom were born in
Dublin, two of whom were conceived in Enniskerry, and one of whom lies buried at Glasnevin
Cemetery in Dublin.

  In September of 1950 Jerome and Eleanor Judge set out for Ireland where they expected to
spend one year. Both WWII veterans, they planned to use their GI Bill benefits to attend
school. Studying in Europe was a popular thing to do after the war. When they heard of a
friend’s plan to study at University College, Dublin, they thought they would like to go back to
the land of their Irish ancestors and seek out their roots, long before that ever became

  They sailed from NYC and one week later landed in Cork. They spent the first night in Moore’
s Hotel, where they had a room over the bar and the sour smell of stout came up through the

  Upon arriving in Dublin they found a garden flat at 73 Waterloo Road, in the Ballsbridge
section of Dublin, for which they paid approximately $9 per week. It was a small furnished two-
room flat with a “semi-attached bathroom” off the garden and lumpy beds. Unlike many homes
they would find in the future, this one did not initially have fleas, although they did occasionally
bring a few home on their clothes, particularly after a visit to the cinema. The household soon
expanded to include Stanislaus the cat, a stray who wandered in one day and stayed, no
doubt adding to the flea problem.

  The flat was in Saint Mary's Parish, so they still could identify themselves in the familiar
Dorchester manner, telling people the parish you live in, rather than the street you live on. The
church was nearby on Haddington Rd. and they became friendly with Fr. Quigley, maintaining
another Dorchester tradition of getting to know the local clergy.

  In early October they presented themselves at UCD for registration. The process was
complicated enough so that the American students frequently had difficulty navigating the
system. Only the Registrar could approve their registration as GI Bill recipients, so many had
to queue up outside his office. When Jerome finally got in to see him, he found the man
puzzled by his degree from Boston University.

  "What kind of a degree is a B.B.A.?" the Registrar asked, not having heard of a Bachelors of
Business Administration.

  "Big Business Administration," Jerome told him.

  The Registrar seemed satisfied and enrolled him.

  Elsewhere in the University, Eleanor struck up a conversation one day with a fellow American
who was waiting in line behind her to register for a history tutorial with Father Aubrey Gwynn.
His name was Carroll O'Connor and he and his brother had also come over to Ireland to
study.  He already showed an interest in theater and organized a group to produce Thornton
Wilder's The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden.  He played the lead role, and Eleanor,
who was two years his senior, had a small, one-line role as his daughter.

  They also enjoyed the professional theater, particularly the Abbey Theater, which in those
days cost two shillings sixpence. They saw Ray McAnally in Lenox Robinson's "The White
Headed Boy" and in O'Casey's "Shadow of a Gunman", and Siobhan McKenna and Cyril
Cusack in "The Playboy of the Western World". Eleanor particularly enjoyed the Christmas
pantomime she saw one year, along with the Festival Ballet's production of Swan Lake.

  The newlyweds began to travel. One of their first trips was an expedition to Donegal in
December of 1950. A friend heard that the Blessed Virgin had been making appearances in
Kerrytown, near Dungloe, where a small cult had grown up around these visions. A group of
UCD students got together, including Eleanor and Jerome, Father Ed Murray, a Holy Cross
priest from Notre Dame and Father Matthew Conlin, a Franciscan who would later become
President of Siena College in Albany, New York. They hired two limousines with drivers, and
headed out for the adventure, anticipating, at a minimum, another Lourdes, but prepared to
accept even a minor vision. It was the Marian Year, the Year of Mary, and they took that as a
good sign.

  The reality was much less noteworthy. They found two little houses in the middle of nowhere,
occupied by the people who had seen the visions. They took in the faithful, housed them, fed
them, and showed them the routine, which consisted of standing up all night in the cow byre
while saying the rosary.  The Americans arrived on December 7, the Feast of the Immaculate
Conception, so they began the evening by listening to Pope Pius say the Rosary on the radio.

  Later they adjourned to the cow byre, where none of the American faithful was visited by any
saintly apparition. The Irish were, however. One woman reported a sighting of Catherine of
Sienna. Another announced she saw half of a bishop, though she did not specify which bishop
or which half. When people got too cold they went indoors for tea. Eleanor decided that
staying up all night and drinking all that tea would make anyone think they were seeing things.
Fr. Conlon later said that the one of the times he felt most foolish in his entire life was standing
all night in that cow byre.

  One night in the cow byre was enough. They slept indoors the second night and the next
morning went into the village in search of Paddy Gallagher, the man who had founded the
cooperative movement in Ireland, who Jerome wanted to interview for his research. Since they
didn't know exactly where he lived, the obvious place to start looking was at the local parish.
There they were warmly greeted by the pastor, who invited them in, served tea to the women
and whisky to the men and sent someone down the road to fetch "Paddy the Cope". While they
waited, he chatted with them, and the subject of our Lady of Kerrytown came up. The pastor
told them that the owners of the two houses kept a still and he thought their visions occurred
one evening as they were returning from a houlie.

  "They're a bunch of crazies, and I hope no one I know is going there," he said sternly.

  His visitors dove into their teacups, not daring to meet each other’s eyes.

  The first Christmas began with midnight Mass at Haddington Rd, concelebrated by Bishop
John Dunn, the Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. When they got home Jerome and Eleanor
exchanged gifts. He bought her a golden finch, which he purchased at an auction. The bird
was named Padraig, and soon became fast friends with Stanislaus the cat; the two of them
would sit in the front window together, enjoying the sun. Eleanor gave Jerome an umbrella,
which she thought was very appropriate for Dublin. Their friends thought they were remarkably
lacking in originality and romance for newlyweds celebrating their first Christmas together.

  "Have you run out of ideas already?" Father Murray asked them.

  Jerome was busy that year conducting research for his thesis on the Irish labor movement.
Not only did he find many interesting and helpful people to interview, but many of them became
lifelong friends. One of them, Larry Maloney, was a manufacturer's representative or
commercial traveler, who wrote a column for his organization’s newsletter. In July of 1951, in a
column titled "A few Observations by Lawrence E. Maloney on Trade Unionism in the USA" he

           An American student has made a number of calls at our Dublin Branch office lately,
    seeking information about our organization.  He explained that he is making a survey of
    the Irish trade union movement with the intention of later boiling it all down into a thesis.  
    To us who are within it, the Irish trade union movement oftentimes appears a veritable
    tangled skein.  Nevertheless, this young American breasted all the conflicting currents
    with characteristic drive and go-getter intensity of purpose, plying his questions at a rate
    which left me breathless.  No matter how knotty a line under enquiry might be, he'd
    question on until he considered he'd unraveled it.  I wished him luck at his task.  It is no
    small one.  But as I write this article, the thought arises that tough though this young
    American's assignment might be, it is soft when compared with the task an Irish student
    would have if he undertook to complete a detailed study of American trade unionism.

       Much of Jerome's best research was conducted in the local pubs. When he showed up at
the union offices, which were heated by peat fires and were such cold, damp places that
people usually wore their coats, his hosts often insisted on popping down the road for a pint or
two in warmer and more cheerful surroundings.

  One day he stopped in at the painter’s union and was introduced to a colorful character
whose name he didn’t quite catch.

  “Have you got a fag, Yank?” asked the fellow.

  Jerome obliged with a cigarette and they got to chatting. When he called him Pat, the fellow
corrected him.

  “You Yanks think everybody here is called Paddy, don’t you?” said Brendan Behan, who was
an active member of the painter’s union before he became successful as a writer. He still
stopped by the hall occasionally to see his old friends.

  Behan took Jerome along as he made the rounds of the Dublin pubs, and as they walked
through the streets he introduced him to everyone they passed. Luckily they didn’t do too
many of these pub crawls together, or Jerome never would have finished his research.

  Life settled back into a routine and they stayed busy with school, social activities and visits
from friends. One of their guests remained for an extended visit. In the fall of 1951 Fr. Murray
found himself between flats and moved in to the Judge quarters at 73 Waterloo Road. He
stayed for three or four months, sleeping on the couch and sharing the living room with the
stove, the teakettles, the bird and cat, and the laundry which was strung across the room on
the clothesline every Thursday. Father was very fond of good cigars and kept a supply of them
on hand. One evening during his residency, friends came for dinner and afterwards the men
got out cigars and filled the room with their smoke. The next morning when they took the cover
off Padraig's cage, they discovered the little bird stiff in a corner. His lungs weren’t strong
enough to handle Father’s fine cigar smoke.

  In November 1951, Jerome was awarded his MA in economics and decided to stay on at UCD
to work on his Ph.D.  The one year honeymoon now looked as though it would extend for
several more years.

  Jerome and Eleanor spent Holy Week of 1952 with the Cistercians at Mount Melleray Abbey
in County Waterford. They took particular note of the bells, which rang repeatedly during the
day, signaling the various Hours to be prayed. Jerome would remember these bells two months
later out at the Bog of Kildare where he spent two weeks "footing" or cutting turf, for &5 and his
keep. Doing one's bit for Bord na Mona, the Turf Board, was a convenient way for people who
had summers off, particularly teachers and students, to earn some money for themselves, as
well as to cut turf for their own fires. The government would set up an area out on the bogs
with tents for sleeping, a cook to prepare meals, and huge bricks of turf that had been cut by a
machine and hauled into a field to dry. The petrified earth was then cut apart by the recruits,
who would pick it up in gloved hands - the gloves were quickly ruined - and break it apart, then
stack them up again.

  One of Jerome's tentmates was a young man of nineteen who held his head at a bit of an
angle, as though he had a stiff neck. Jerome finally asked him what kind of work he did, and
was told that he had been in the novitiate at Mount Melleray Abbey, but had recently asked to
be released from his vows. His job at the Abbey was to ring the bells, and each time he settled
down to prayer, it was time to get up and ring them again. In addition to giving him a crick in his
neck, it was ruining his contemplative life. Jerome begin to call him “Ten Past Two.”

  The other tentmate was a fellow named Cathal who was well known to Ten Past Two as a
perennial seeker of a monastery that would take him in. He hadn't yet succeeded, but did have
an alternative plan, to join the Irish Republican Army.  They didn’t seem to want him either.
One afternoon he took Jerome up to the Dublin Hills to watch the presentation of arms. There
was nothing secretive about IRA activities at that time, and everyone seemed to know what
they were doing. They actually weren't doing much the day Jerome saw them. Many of them
didn't have guns, so they were marching with broomsticks, poles and anything else they could
get their hands on.

  In November 1952 a second son was born on the feast of St. Andrew Avellino, the patron
saint of apoplexy. The chubby-cheeked child was christened Andrew Joseph, after the
unfortunate saint, and the older brother he never knew.

  By  the fall of 1953 the family was outgrowing the two room flat on Waterloo Road.  Jerome
was still plugging away at his dissertation, increasingly a challenge in their cramped quarters
with baby diapers strung across the living room to dry and people dropping by to see them all
the time. He realized he would never finish writing in Dublin and decided to look for a quieter
place, farther off the beaten path.

  A friend suggested a guest house near Enniskerry, in the Wicklow Hills twelve miles south of
Dublin. He and Jerome took the bus to Enniskerry, then walked three miles to Valclusa. They
met Molly Jeffers, the proprietress, explained what Jerome needed, and she offered him room
and full board along with an extra room for him to write in, and all the wood he could chop to
keep the fires going. The charge for this was &27 per month. Eleanor, Jerome and Andrew
packed up their two room household, shipped the six trunks down to the country, and became
paying guests, or PGs, at Valcusa.

  The house was built in the eighteenth century as the dower house for the nearby
Powerscourt Estate. The house and the land still belonged to the Powerscourt Estate, whose
property consisted of 34,000 nearby acres of plantations, shrubbery, Japanese deer herds
and a magnificent waterfall. The grounds were used to film a number of movies, including
Henry V with Lawrence Olivier and Captain Lightfoot, which starred Rock Hudson in the rather
improbable role of an Irish rebel.

  Molly Jeffers had come to work at Valclusa as the downstairs maid in 1901, at age fourteen,
and eventually worked her way up to become the proprietress of the establishment.  She ran
the house with the help of  her brother Jim, and Frank Gray, who came there after war. They
were a hard working threesome. Molly took charge of the running of the household; Frank
assisted her in the house, looked after the cows, hens, and did the "messages" twice a week to
Bray on his bicycle; Jim handled the donkeys, cut the wood for the fires and in the summer
went up to the bogs in the hills of Glencree to cut the year's supply of turf.

  You could not see Valclusa from the road, which befitted a house whose name in Italian
meant "secluded valley."  To reach the house you traveled up a driveway about 1/4 mile long,
at the end of which was a gravel covered clearing, the front yard. A hedge on the right
separated the yard from the fields below, which ran down to the edge of the Powerscourt
Estate, the adjoining property. Years before, Miss Briscoe had planted rhododendron bushes
all along the hedge and when they bloomed they ringed the house with blossoms.  The house
was on the left, a low, grayish stone building that appeared to be built on one level only. In
fact, it was much larger inside, with the living and sleeping areas on the main floor, and a
complete floor below this level, built partly underground, where the kitchen and storage rooms
were located.

  Jerome and Eleanor's room and study were on the main level of the house, along with Mrs.
Wace’s drawing room and bedroom. Molly and Jim had rooms downstairs, on either side of the
kitchen. The rest of the downstairs area was used for the dairy and for storage. Frank slept in
a room in the barn, up on the hill behind the house.

  The Judges settled in at Valclusa on November 1, 1953. Eleanor was three months pregnant
with me and Andrew was almost one year old. His birthday was celebrated two days later in the
kitchen, where much of the activities at Valclusa were conducted. It was at the bottom of a
staircase that wound around in a circle as you descended. It was off a dark hallway, and you
had to move carefully to avoid tripping over the box of firewood and turf that Jim kept stocked
outside the door.

  Jim was very fond of his animals, especially Billy the donkey, and seemed to take better care
of him than he did of himself.  He would take Billy down the road to gather firewood, then carry
the wood home on his own back, walking Billy along behind him.  

  "He wouldn't ask the donkey to do a thing for him," said the locals, who found it amusing that
the beast of burden had such an easy time of it.

  When Jim would go up to Glencree to cut turf, he would harness Billy to the cart, but wouldn't
ride in it for fear that he would be too heavy. On his trips in to see Ben Ryder, the blacksmith in
Enniskerry, Billy would walk along one side of the road, and Jim along the other, holding the
reins across the road and each having his own quiet stroll. It was a good thing there were so
few cars in the area at the time or neither Jim nor Billy would have survived those regular trips
to the smithy.

  Eleanor stayed busy at Valclusa doing laundry, which she did by bending over the bathtub to
scrub her clothes on a board. Other duties included keeping the paraffin stove filled and the
wick trimmed. Andrew was still small enough to stay confined most of the time, so she had time
to write letters and read. Sometimes she would take kitchen duty and prepare Italian spaghetti,
which Jim referred to as the rushes, since that's what the meal looked like to him.

  Valclusa was three miles from Enniskerry, three miles from the village of Kilmacanogue and
seven miles from Bray, the nearest town. Twice a week Frank would ride his bike in to Bray to
pick up staples and leave orders for bread and meat that would be delivered regularly to the
house. The mail came daily, delivered by John Hunt, better known as Jack the Postman, who
traveled the route on his motorized bicycle.

  John Hunt came to work in Enniskerry in 1951 when he was eighteen years old. He first
traveled his eighteen-mile route on foot, and a few years later, when he was upgraded to a
bicycle, the route was expanded to twenty seven miles. He had a strict schedule to follow, and
he was to arrive at and depart from each stop precisely on the clock. Although there was a
great distance to travel, there were few people who lived along the route and they served him
plenty of refreshment on his route. At 10:45 he would reach Valclusa and stop for tea in the
kitchen. At 12:55, farther along the road he would meet up with old Mrs. Carroll, and give her a
bag, which she then took seven miles farther along, to deliver the post for the people up the
hill. John would wait in a house at the bottom of the hill and the woman who lived there was
paid a penny a day by the Post Office for letting him stop there and for serving him a cup of
tea. When Mrs. Carroll returned at 3 p.m. he would inspect the bag to be sure she had
delivered all the mail, then continue along.

  At 4:15 he arrived at the Powerscourt Estate, and went to the Big House to drop off and pick
up the mail. He was to depart from there at 4:20, but one day he left two minutes early, and by
the time he returned to the Post Office in Enniskerry, Lady Powerscourt had already been on
the phone to complain about him leaving early. The next day John was determined to follow the
schedule. At precisely 4:20 by the watch, he picked up his bag and headed for the door. Lady
Powerscourt called out from the study that she was just addressing some letters and could he
please wait. He could not, he told her, for he had a schedule to follow, and with that he was out
the door. The next day as he arrived at 4:15, Lord Powerscourt came out to the hall to greet

  "Well, you got her good," he said to John.  

  "What do you mean?" asked the postman.

  "You told her you wouldn't wait for her letters," said His Lordship with a chuckle.

  "Well, if she's going to watch the clock, I'm going to watch the clock," said John.

  Just then Lady Powerscourt came down the stairs and offered him tea, which he promptly
accepted. From that day on, the butler always had tea ready for him and John would drink it
before he left at 4:20.

  The only other regular PG during the winter was Mrs. Wace, although there was one fellow in
residence when the Judges arrived, an erratic individual by the name of Bidwell, whose family
in England paid for him to stay there, instead of with them. According to the locals he was a
"madman" and they had all sorts of tales about his antics. He would order expensive books
from publishers in England, and Jack the Postman would lug them all the way out to Valclusa,
where Bidwell would flip through them, then toss them to one side. Jack also delivered the
morning paper, which arrived rolled up into a tube and tied with string. Bidwell had a routine
each morning where he had to be the one to take off the string. He did this by grasping the
end of the paper in one hand and pulling the string off quickly with the other hand. If he was
having a bad morning he would tear the paper to shreds while getting the string off and then
no one would be able to read it. Several times Eleanor or Jerome would get down to the
kitchen before him and open the paper themselves, which was a mortal sin as far as Bidwell
was concerned and put him in a very bad temper. When he had one of his spells he would go
roaring up through Mrs. Wace's garden, just beyond the house, and then continue up the hill
to old Mrs. Gregg's house, near the waterfall.

  Shortly after Jerome and Eleanor arrived at Valclusa, Bidwell got into an argument with Frank
and left Valclusa for good. It was a loss for Molly, because he was a long standing guest and
the check from England for his keep arrived regularly.

  By 1953 Molly no longer used the tearoom for teas, but frequently her old "regulars" would
drop in for luncheon or tea. Valclusa was also a popular stop for the many bikers or hikers who
wandered through the area, and when they stopped by for refreshment, they were served
upstairs in the diningroom. When the Judges first went there they ate in the sitting room, and
just before the meal Molly would set a match to the fire already laid in the fireplace. However, it
never got warm while they were eating, and after a few days Eleanor asked if they could eat in
the kitchen with the family, where it was always warm, once the stove was fired up. The huge
cast iron stove retained heat overnight, so the kitchen never got as cold as the rest of the
house.  Eventually Jerome bought a few kerosene stoves for some of the upstairs rooms, and
this made a big difference because it provided heat at both ends of the room.

  They had no car during that period, but used the taxi if anyone needed to go to Dublin from
Enniskerry. Since there was no telephone at Valclusa, they would go up the hill to Charlie
Keegan's farm, to call from there. Ronnie, the garage and taxi man, would drive them to
Enniskerry where they would get the bus to Dublin. It was a 45-minute, scenic ride on top of
the double-decker bus.

  That Christmas morning the Valclusa residents arose early in the morning and waited for
Ronnie the Taxi Man to drive them to Mass at Enniskerry, as he did every Sunday morning.
When they got back to Valclusa, Frank settled down to cooking the rashers (bacon) and fried
eggs. Eleanor would later begin to follow Frank's method of frying eggs--he would drop the
egg in the hot bacon fat, then baste the top of it with the bacon fat as the bottom was cooking.  
With proper timing, the result was a just barely runny yoke and a firm white, into which you
dipped the fried bread.

  Christmas Day brought a special present for Jerome that year. A telegram arrived from the
Bishop's War Relief Services (later known as Catholic Relief Services) inviting him to come to
Germany for an interview. If accepted for a job, he was to remain there for orientation. He
packed his bags and left the day after Christmas. Eleanor decided to wait at Valclusa until he
found suitable housing for his growing family.        

  Four months later Jerome took a break from work and returned to Valclusa to pick up
Eleanor and Andrew and escort them back to Hamburg, where he had found a flat. Two
months later the third birth announcement was sent out, announcing my arrival on the feast of
Pope Pius the Fifth. I was given the name Maria; the German version of Mary, and Siobhan, as
a tribute to the Irish my parents had become so fond of.

   That October Dad was promoted to a new job that required him to do more traveling. He and
Mom decided that she should go back to Ireland with the children, since they knew more
people there and she would have company. She was concerned that Valclusa would be too
remote a place for her to stay with two little children. So a friend in Tralee made arrangements
for us to stay near her in a full-board place in nearby Fenit.

  Eleanor’s sister Mary arrived unexpectedly from her Paris vacation, and accompanied us on
the return voyage to Cork. I traveled in the "Moses basket,” newly acquired in Hamburg and so
named because it was made out of woven straw that resembled the bulrushes that harbored
young Moses from the wrath of the Pharaoh.

  The full-board place in Fenit was full of more than just board as we soon discovered. It also
had fleas, which welcomed the new arrivals by busily feasting on Andrew and me. We fled to a
hotel in Tralee where we spent the night and where Mom came to the quick conclusion that
Valclusa was not so remote after all. She wired Molly to expect her in two days and arrived at
the front door of Valclusa to pour forth her troubles.

  "Molly, I couldn't stay there; they had fleas," she told her.

  "I hope you didn't bring any with you," responded Molly.

  Molly may have been a bit surprised to see Mrs. Judge with an additional child, a sister and
no spouse, to say nothing of the Moses basket and another trunk, but Molly took all things in
stride and soon everyone was settled back into the familiar surroundings of Valclusa.

  Andrew was almost two years old and full of energy. Clad in his German lederhosen and his
black rubber knee-high Wellingtons, topped off by a felt hat with a feather in it, he made for a
colorful sight as he wandered about Valclusa. He was a pleasant, self-sufficient child who used
to follow Jim or Frank about and “help them” with their chores, gathering eggs with Jim or
watching Frank milk the cows.

  When the hens weren't laying, Molly would send Jim up the road to buy eggs from a
neighbor. Andrew may have been partly responsible for the hens having some downtime, since
he particularly enjoyed running up to the henhouse and scaring the occupants when they were
on the job. He also enjoyed accompanying Frank and Jim whenever they had to travel off the
Valclusa property, and would tag along when they visited up the road.

  Eventually he got to be a bit too adventurous and after Frank caught him wandering on his
own, halfway up the hill to Charlie Keegans, it became clear that some sort of restraint was
necessary. So from that point on, whenever he was put out to play, he was tied to the big tree
in the front yard. The rope was long enough so that he could wander partway down the
driveway to see the road, but short enough so that he could not actually reach the road. To
keep him entertained, Jim taught him to look for the cars and to call out whenever he saw one
drive by. This didn't happen very often, since there were only about three cars in the
neighborhood, but they apparently drove by often enough for Andrew to cry out "a ca-er,
there's a ca-er,” mimicking Jim's Mayo accent. One of the other paying guests, Mrs. Wace, a
refined English lady who was the widow of an Oxford don, was not happy to hear such an
accent coming from so little a fellow. She tried to train him to pronounce the word as she did, in
her more cultured, Oxford voice.  

  "Ca-ar, Andrew," she would instruct him.  "Say ca-ar."

  On mornings when Andrew was manning his post in the driveway, John Hunt, the postman
would arrive on his morning rounds, untie him from the tree, then bring him into the kitchen
where he was served Molly's homemade bread and jam while everyone else had their tea.
Andrew was outdoors in all kinds of weather. On damp mornings the water would be dripping
off his Irish knit "baineen jumper", or sweater, made from the unwashed, oiled sheep's wool
that was so popular. It was so heavy that he managed to stay dry inside it, no matter how much
water was dripping off him. John thought that tying the boy to the tree was something cruel, as
did old Miss Hopkins, who lived in the lodge at the waterfall gates.  

  "Did you ever hear the likes of it?" she would mutter to John when he told her about Andrew
at the end of the rope.

  Meanwhile, back in Germany, Jerome was asked to stay on for another tour of duty, but by
now he had been away from the US for almost five years, hadn't yet finished his dissertation,
and wasn't quite sure what his next step would be.  He decided the dissertation should go back
on the top of the priority list, so he returned to Valclusa in time to celebrate my first birthday.

  Jerome was still writing his dissertation on the train to Cork that August as we began our
journey back to the US. Father Ed Murray, their historian friend from UCD had helped him get
an Assistant Professorship at the University of Notre Dame. Since there could be no more
delays, he hunkered down to write, but the departure date arrived and he still hadn't pulled
everything together. His friend Mahoney met him at the train station in Cork and he handed
over the just completed dissertation to him for delivery to his thesis advisor. A few months later
he received his degree in the mail.

  We sailed to New York on the USS America, and worked our way up to Boston where we
visited with grandparents for a few weeks, then took the train to South Bend, Indiana. It was an
uncomfortable twenty-three hour trip as we traveled by coach - no sleepers were available -
and Mom was newly pregnant with her fourth child.
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