It's in the Genes!
My father's parents, James Patt and Annie Meighan were both born in Ireland. My grandfather was born in a tiny townland called Clounamon, located in Co. Kerry. My grandmother was born in the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Her mother had moved to Belfast from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal, so I cling to both locales!
Many of our family holidays were spent in San Francisco with my grandparents and 17 cousins also located there. Many of the Irish traditions that we honor today were learned at these family gatherings. Bridie's Irish Faire is a daily celebration of those Irish traditions as well as an extension of my genealogical research!
Beside the shop door is a photograph of Bridie Cox Long, the namesake of my shop. Bridie's grandmother and my great grandmother (Catherine Cox) were sisters. My father met Bridie in the early 1960's when he first traveled to Asdee, (Co. Kerry) and took Bridie and her sister, Kathleen, out "touring" in a rented car. He had traveled to Ireland to retrieve his own father, who had suffered a heart attack while home on holiday for the first time in 40 years.
Prior to his passing in 1992 my father gave me a little bundle of letters from Bridie and her sister, Kathleen, written in the 1960's. I wrote one letter to the farm and received two in return. My first visit to the farm in Asdee, to meet all of the Cox sisters, was in 1995. I was lucky enough to visit with Bridie twice more before her untimely death in 2004 at the age of 56.
(photo on right above is Bridie's grave in Ballylongford, Co. Kerry)