2002-03-02 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

Memory of James Conway Sullivan:
‘Some Men See Things As They Are And Ask, Why?
I Dream Things That Never Were And Say, Why Not?’
Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy

  On behalf of the James Conway Sullivan Memorial Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee and the Sullivan Family, I extend to you a warm Cead Mile Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes, on this occasion of our twenty-seventh annual parade! In the wake of the despicable events that were thrust upon our small community where at the WTC so many of our own lost their lives, the parade committee also endured a tragic blow with the profound and sudden loss of our parade founder and president emeritus, Jimmy Sullivan. For those who had the privilege to have known him, he proudly exemplified what it meant to be Irish. He lived fiercely with passion and conviction; always striving to live the spirit of the claddagh. To his friends and family, he rendered his friendship, loyalty, and love. To the town he loved so well, he has bequeathed his glorious parade.
   "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. Wandering by lone sea breakers and sitting by desolate streams. World-losers and world-forsakers on whom the pale moon gleams; yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties we build up the world's great cities. And out of a fabulous story, we fashion an empire's glory. One man with a dream, at pleasure shall go forth and conquer a crown. And three with a new song's measure can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying in the buried past of earth, built Nineveh with our sighing and Babel itself with our mirth. And o'erthrew them with prophesying to the Old of the New World's worth, for each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth." --Arthur O'Shaughnessy

So, with the dignity of FF George Johnson as he raised the flag, or the defiance of FF Mike Moran as he told Bin Laden where he could kiss him, march on...march all! Because...we can! I know that Jimmy would be so proud; but for now, he has gone to join that gallant band of Plunkett, Pearce, and Tone.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost.

James Conway Sullivan with Beverly Baxter at a parade function.

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