2009-03-27 / Letters

Remembering Irish Heritage

Dear Editor,

I have been coming to the Rockaways for 40 years. I attended my first St. Patrick's Day Parade recently. My Irish cousins drove me to Beach 109 Street. We had a beautiful breakfast on my porch. We had Irish ham, Irish sausages, brown bread, grilled tomatoes, bottled water and a very small bottle of Kritter champagne.

We spilt it three ways and used the beautiful hand painted glasses I purchased at the festival started by the late and very beautiful Barbara Eisenstadt. Barbara was a class act of Rockaway and watches Rockaway in her new job as Princess of Heaven. She is joined by her sister Angel, the beautiful and talented Beverly Baxter.

I looked across the street at the Hanging Garden and purple trees of the current Queen of Rockaway, Rosemary Sullivan. The block was glorious; I went to Billy's deli on Beach 109 Street! It is the finest deli in the Rockaways with the best coffee! I am in love with Billy because he makes the finest egg white sandwiches with grilled tomatoes. His Irish deli was decorated to perfection. I was happy to see such prosperity on the old traditional Irish block - Beach 109 Street.

I next walked to Beach 108 Street where who should I see, the Mayor of New York. I walked up to him. He was a vision of green, white and gold. I shook his hand and told him I had written two songs for him. He thanked me. I thought to myself, he is so handsome. He must indeed be Irish. I walked behind him and said, "You are Irish." He said again, "Thank you, I am Irish, from county Connessera, Galway, the west of Ireland." He again thanked me. I was so happy. I wanted a picture but I did not want to push my luck.

I walked up to Beach 108 Street and watched the parade. I went to Butler's Deli and bought coffee and chips. I saw residents of the block. Everyone looked great with their children and grandchildren.

I looked at Healey's Pub; it was gorgeous and filled with the most handsome, refined people I ever saw. I asked where do you come from, New Jersey, Connecticut and Long Island. Everyone came for the Irish Parade started by the late James Conway Sullivan. The parade was ending. We did not want to leave. We stood outside and listened to Shillelagh Law, the finest band in New York. It was fabulous. I saw many friends I grew up with and everyone looked great. It was one of the happiest days of my life. New York and Rockaway were Irish. There were firemen, all well behaved. I saw a person I do not like or admire, he is old now but mean! He pulled the green caps off the men! The green caps were hand knit by the wives of firemen to symbolize the suffering of the Irish. They were started in McMahon Brothers Restaurant and Tavern in the 1970s to unite the men with the oppression of the British against the Irish.

It was the reign of terror caused by Margaret Thatcher, who is and was horrible.

Her son, Mark, is a declared terrorist and permanently banned from the USA. I would believe that the late Frank Durkor Esq., the greatest Irish-born lawyer, was legally responsible for this act of justice. Mark ran a revolution against West Equilateral, Africa; like mother like son; two terrorists - one against the Irish and the other against the blacks.

In every way, the Irish have always been heroes - the fine Sullivan brothers of World War II. Irish Deputy Feehan of Breezy Point, Captain Hynes, John Moran and fireman Hefferman gave their lives that America would be free.

The Irish heroes of 9/11 equal the bravery of the heroes of 1916 who willingly and dutifully gave their lives that Ireland would be free.

Many men and women who die for freedom and justice are heroes, be it in America or in Ireland.

James Conway Sullivan is an Irish hero of Rockaway who, too, suffered by being a proud Irish man. Long live Jimony! May he rest in peace in heaven.

Rockaway is the finest seaside community in the United States of America!

PEGGY McMAHON

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