Boston Trip April 2010

I had a great (but brief) trip to Boston, got back 2 days ago. I’m such a wimp; the 3 hour time difference between coasts has me beat.

The day after I arrived in Boston, my 86-year-old aunt Mary Stewart drove me from Hingham to Dorchester to have a SCRUMPTIOUS brunch at the home of–I hope I have this right–my second cousin once removed, Katy Miles. I am still wishing I could drink strawberry Bellinis every morning. What a great meal.

Above is the photo of our brunch. I’m going to try to get this right. The way I think of all my second cousins is this: they are the grandchildren of my paternal grandmother’s older brother, Ned.

Top row from left to right: Peggy O’Neil, Mary O’Neil Crisafulli, Patrick Tranford, Joanne Tranford (his wife), me. Second row from left: Mary Stewart, Nancy O’Neil Hannan, Christine Whittemore, Michael O’Neil, Katy Miles; and bottom row, Pat and Joanne’s daughter….Christine? I hope I got that right. She’s a nursing student. If I got her name wrong…sorry.  So, with the exception of Pat’s wife, everyone there is a blood relation.Unbelievable.

The next day was Mary’s birthday: 87!! Here she is at her party with her daughter Megan, who put me up during my stay and who was very gracious, even buying me organic half-and-half before I arrived to make sure I was extra comfy in her home:

Mary has a lovely garden. Though there is a spot with a plague of Siberian Irises. I helped thin them out, and in this photo below my work looks tidy; but I’m sure the minute it rains those resilient rhizomes will shoot up all over the place. I even moved the pavers to hack away at those things. I suggested lighter fluid and a match as the only sensible approach to dispatching that type of iris; with a garden hose nearby, of course; but I guess this approach is a little too…cowboy for that part of the world. Check this out, it’s so New England:

The following day I hacked away at the myrtle. Some people in Mary’s home love myrtle; and, because it was locally held in such high esteem, you can see the clumps of myrtle I graciously saved so they could be thoughtfully transplanted elsewhere and so that some poor soul in the future can try to thin the things. Good luck on that.

On Tuesday I met my second cousin Michael O’Neil at the new Institute of Contemporary Art. The main exhibit was dull and pretentious, but many of the works on display from the permanent collection were compelling and interesting.

For some reason Michael wanted a shot of me in the middle of the street outside the museum. Here we were just outside the only old landmark visible in the area, the tiny chapel that Michael said used to be used by fishermen before they went to sea, or when they came back; he remembered going there with his dad. It was locked up; clearly, the economic demographic has changed.

Here I am looking out over the harbor from the ICA; the view here is worth the price of admission. The red jacket is not mine; I packed only a carry-on and had to borrow warm clothes from my kin, I’m just too used to the warmer temperatures in Arizona.

Michael took this photo of me in the museum; I’m looking at the security guard on her way to tell Michael to put his camera away, immediately.

My brother John lives in Boston. He’s very busy but had some time to meet up; here we are at Mary’s home for a quick dinner. I’ve got my hands on one of Mary’s biscuits; and, she does make the best biscuits, I ate about a dozen in 24 hours. Between the biscuits and the Bellinis I can’t really decide which one I liked better.

John took this nice shot of me with Mary and Michael.

Such a lovely trip; I’m very thankful to be related to so many warm, generous and accommodating people. I can’t wait to go back!

3 thoughts on “Boston Trip April 2010

  1. Hi Cleare ;
    How are you ? You seem to be very busy as usual with your Silk Screening and your gardening. I would love to have your energy. I would thiink that you are looking forward to Fall with the cooler temp. You guys sure had a very hot and long Summer. I like hot weather but 90 and above is too hot for me.

    Are these O’Neills related to the O’Neills Home in Port Kirwan? Ed, O’Neills gra
    ndfathers name was Ned and his grandmothers name was Elisabeth Fennelly O’Neill
    I HOPE THINGS ARE GOING GOOD FOR YOU . With winter coming on the days will have less daylight so you will have time for your playing the fiddle and belly dancing. Like I said before I would love to have half your get up and go. I have to go so bye for now. MAYBE I WILL SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER IN Port Kirwan( P.G.)

    Your Newfie Friend
    Denis

  2. My grandfather Edward O’Neill (Mr. Neddy) was the first cousin of Clare’s grandmother, who is the sister of Mr. Paul O’Neill and Mike (Scot) O’Neill. My grandfather and Mr. Paul were always very close–more like brothers than cousins. They fished together, smoked their pipes together, had the same stage and flake–they also had sililiar very gentle personalities. Where you saw one, you saw the other. Of course, they were born and raised and lived their whole lives within a stone’s throw of one another. I noticed that the O’Neil’s on Clare’s photos have one “l” in their names. This would be unheard of in present day Port Kirwana, but I would bet they are members of the same clan, just slightly further out on the branch.

    • Ed, sorry for not being more timely in my reply! I’ve heard one explanation for that single “L” in the O’Neil surname. My grandmother Mary Ellen O’Neil, your grandfather’s cousin, had an older brother Ned O’Neill, also your grandfather’s first cousin, and he emigrated to Boston; his wife, the name escapes me at the moment, decided that one “L” seemed more elegant than 2 and dropped one; so Ned’s 6 kids all were one “L” O’Neils.

      Hoping to make it up the Garden Party in August!

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