Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is always especially joyful for me, in connection with my Irish heritage. My great-great-grandfather (my dad’s dad’s dad) Peter William Murphy emigrated from Ireland, from the likely whereabouts of County Cork, when he was a young man, most probably seeking refuge from the potato famine. Like so many others he sought new opportunities in the United States.

Once safely in the US, my paternal ancestor located in Napa where he became a city fireman. He met and married his bride Laura Aurora Leoni, a Swiss-Italian. She worked at the bakery across the street from the firehouse! The family moved to Berkeley when their two sons, Raymond Peter and Francis Cecil, were in grade school. Ray went to UC Berkeley, graduating in civil engineering and went on to become the safety officer for the Bay Bridge. Francis (my dad’s dad) followed his older brother in civil engineering and also graduated from UC Berkeley, eventually moving to the Seattle area to raise his family with my grandmother Elizabeth.

As a teenager I was blessed to visit Ireland myself, with my mother. The two of us spent two weeks bicycling the southwest peninsulas. Absolutely gorgeous! I was so in love with the country, and felt right at home with all the other red-heads, an altogether friendly country, the many sheep, and the breathtakingly verdant hills with cliffs jutting down the sea.

So, in honor of the beautiful Ireland, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”, or as Lake says, eschewing the patron Saint and choosing to highlight the original Druid culture instead: Happy “Leprechaun Day!” Lake even built an elaborate leprechaun trap at school (of all things!). He had it taped across the kitchen floor in the path out the back door. Nana said, “I hope all the leprachauns stayed out of the traps. They are peaceful creatures.” Indeed! As of happened, the leprechauns must have snuck in, evading detection, and recycled the trap, because the trap was disappeared in the morning. Those lucky leprechauns got to keep their gold— and their freedom!

Wishing you all a very good night, pleasant dreams and a wee luck of the Irish!

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