Me in the Middle is Published

 

 

I’ve put the finishing touches on my story and it’s now in e-book and paperback, as well as on my website. It’s good that I’ve written this story in my own voice from my own experience and memory. Now my children and grandchildren will have a piece of my life and pieces of life in the past 70 plus years. Life is good!
I’ve been told I’ve done a beautiful job of writing about both the joys and sorrows in my life.
I’m grateful for the time I’ve been given to enjoy writing and sketching now that life is slowing down for me.  These are gifts that I’ve been given and now am blessed with the time to enjoy them.
I wish for you the same life’s blessings.
P.S.  Next, I’m thinking about writing an historical fiction piece about my paternal grandmother who we didn’t get to know because she died at 47.

Me in the Middle ~ Amazon

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US: https://amzn.to/35xQn1W
A small town, New Jersey Catholic girl grows up in the 1940s and 50s following all the rules. Until she doesn’t. Married with five children, her husband casually tells her one day that he’s leaving. Through marriage, desertion, solo parenting, and creating financial security for her children and herself, within the almost constant context of the Church, its rules, and its own significant failings, this is an American woman’s life, through some of the most significant decades of the United States. Against a backdrop of the Fifties and McCarthyism, the Sixties with the Kennedy brothers and Dr Martin Luther King Jr, through to 9/11 and Ground Zero, here is the voice of one woman, who wants to be heard.

Me in the Middle of Reading a Memoir (Prohibition)

Today is my Uncle Jack’s Birthday!

My Uncle Jack, who is my father’s youngest brother, came to visit me over the holidays (in spirit).  My oldest son shares the same birthday with him ~ January 22nd.  I received a gift in the mail from my brother that transported me back to Uncle Jack’s childhood in the early 1900s.  In 1979, in the years before he died, he had penned a memoir ~ I Too Remember ~ covering 1918 through 1928 when he was four years old through fourteen years old.  There might be more memories put to writing about other years of his life that his children and grandchildren may have.  We don’t know because we lost track of them over the years.  This particular manuscript was sent to my mother and father’s home, our homestead where we grew up and my father grew up, and covered a lot of memories of when my grandfather and grandmother moved into the newly built home when Uncle Jack was only seven years old.  His creative writing is very good and his memory is priceless.  

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One account of life during his childhood was of the Prohibition Years (See Wikipedia).  The account was so well written that I decided to do a post about it here on my blog in his honor.  

RIP Uncle Jack and thank you for being the beautiful soul that you are! 

Happy Birthday!

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I Too Remember

by John H. Quinn

Poor Dad!  From 1919 until 1933, we had what was called Prohibition.  All the Breweries had to shut down.  If someone happened to have some beer, and you bought it and got caught, you could have to pay $1,000 fine or 6 months in jail.  Soon the gangsters started making beer and whiskey even though it was illegal.  Soon the old saloons opened (illegally).  They were called Speakeasies.  As time went by, most of the time no one bothered them.  Dad didn’t like what they made and did without beer until we moved to our new home.  (I could write a book about the days during Prohibition, but I don’t feel that it is associated directly with my childhood.  If any of you would like to know about those days, I’m sure there are hundreds of books you can read).

After we got settled in our new home, Dad bought all the things that were needed to make beer.  It was called “Home Brew”.  Some of the things he bought, that I remember, were:

  1.  A thick earthenware pot.  It was called a crock.
  2.  Bottles and metal caps to put on top of the bottles.
  3.  Some kind of a gadget that you would put a bottle cap in, then put the filled bottle underneath, pull down the lever and it would put the cap on real tight.  You had to wait a few weeks before you could drink the beer.
  4.  Malt, hops and yeast.  He used water and that’s all I can remember.

Dad and Mother would also make Root Beer (for us kids) and would use the same gadget to put on the caps.

Later, he made Grape Wine and Whiskey.  I’ll tell you just a little about him making Whiskey.  Not about what he used to make it with, but about other things.

My Dad was mainly a beer drinker.  However, occasionally he would have a little whiskey.  He didn’t make the whiskey for that reason.  Here are a few reasons that I know of that he did:

Both of his brothers (Henry and Tom) enjoyed whiskey mixed with seltzer water ~ to be used for medicinal purposes:  My two grand-aunts used to make cough medicine and it worked.  Here is what they used when they made cough medicine:

Honey, lemon, whiskey and rock candy (the rock candy was crystallized sugar).

(See about Grandpa Malloy after I tell you what happened to my Uncle Henry one day.)

One day we were all in the kitchen and Dad had just brought up two bottles of whiskey that he had made.  When it is first made it is 200 Proof (very, very strong).  He first had to cut it (I’m not sure how he did this.) so that it would be around 100 Proof (OK for drinking) and he had to color it (brown, like you see in the stores).  He hadn’t started to do this yet when Uncle Henry came in.  He asked my Dad if he could try some of the whiskey.  Dad told him that he hadn’t cut it yet.  My uncle said that he didn’t care and poured himself a big drink.  He then walked over to the sink where he could get a glass of water to drink after he drank the whiskey.  Well, he drank all the Whiskey that he had in the glass and before he could reach the cold water faucet, he seemed to float down onto the floor where he passed out.  We were all scared!  Dad put cold, wet towels to his head and he came around.  He was OK.  He said to my Dad, “Wow, that sure packs dynamite!”  He always enjoyed Dad’s whiskey after that but he would wait for Dad to cut it.

While we were moving to our new home, my grandparents bought a tiny farm in Meadowbrook., New York, not far from Newburgh.  One winter my grandfather got awful sick.  My parents received word that they had better come up to the farm as Grandpa was very, very sick.  My parents went right up!  When they arrived, my grandmother told them that he had received the last rites of the church and there was very little hope that he would live.  My mother and father then went in to see Grandpa.  They only stayed a few minutes and as they were leaving, my grandfather called to my Dad.  My Dad went over … and Grandpa asked him if he brought any of the whiskey he made.  My Dad said that he didn’t.  My grandfather then asked him if he could bring some up … He felt that it was the kind of medicine that he needed to get well.  My father told him that he would go right back home and return as quickly as possible.  My Dad went right home, picked up a pint of his whiskey and headed back.  (It took awhile, as you might realize.)  He  brought it in to my grandfather who asked him to pour him a big shot.  He drank it right down.  He then told my Dad to leave the bottle on the table by his bed.  My parents told my grandmother they had to leave and asked her to let them know immediately if anything should happen.

A couple of days later my parents received word that my Grandpa was up and walking around.  (Come Spring, he was out in the fields working!)

The doctor said it was a miracle!  But … Grandpa (and my Dad) knew it was my Dad’s whiskey that saved him.  Believe it or not, it happened again, (over a number of years since that time) in the same way – Three Times!!

The Rise of Speakeasies

 

 

Me in the Middle of Purging Old Emails

 

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Recently, I began to tackle going through about 500 old emails.  It was a long time coming and a task I put off as ‘boring’.

I set out to put them in categories ~ letting go of people, places, experiences and events that have moved into the past;  treasured photos/conversations worth keeping; and emails that inspire great blogging/writing materials.  It spanned over the last three years!

Deletes upon arrival are chain emails that, once scanned over, rarely hold my interest.  Most political campaign emails receive the same fate.  I’ve been overwhelmed by them.  I once received the advice that you can usually get the gist of what’s in a political email by scanning the first paragraph.  It’s true!

Interesting stuff that fell into the ‘great blogging and writing materials’ were abundant:

 A few years back I took a leap and signed up for Match.com.  My online adventures proved to be a positive trip overall.  I met a number of nice men and had nice encounters with them.  A few are still friends.  A few were bizarre!  We’re all up in the 70’s-80’s age group and have a revised set of needs compared to the younger groups.  I’m no longer a paying member yet still get emails from Match offering me deals to come back.  Even though I’ve removed my photo and personal profile, I’m still getting emails that say “You’ve been checked out 3 times!” “He emailed you!”  “You have six unread emails!”  Oops, I just got another one ~ “Flash Sale* 60% Off Just For You!”  Revisiting the old emails from contacts on Match was fun!  (Don’t worry, gentlemen, your privacy is secure!  ❤ 🙂 )  Lots of good insights were gained for possible sharing through blogging.

Another set of emails to be saved for blogging are the Enneagram Types.  We each fall into all personality types to a lesser or greater degree.  It was fun exploring this through Richard Rohr’s series on the topic.  I’d like to explore it further if time allows.

And then there’s the emails on art classes and writing classes in the area.  I’ve signed up for a ‘Memories to Memoir’ course to help me jog my memory for great childhood experiences to share with my grandchildren.

So there it is …………… a bit about my tackling and purging emails from my Gmail account.  If you haven’t guessed already, I’ve reached a point of not knowing what to blog about this week.  The summer’s coming to an end and I’m preparing for a Fall and Winter of indoor activities.  Happy Blogging my friends!

Email #2

Oh No!!!  They’re Back!!!!

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