Today I celebrate the life of a man I never met, yet without whom I would not be. My grandfather, Stewart Ransom, passed this day in 1954 while watching the parade on TV.
Since then, St. Patrick's Day has always been a, let us say sedate, if not somber occasion for our family. Which is very out of character for us. (We like to party.) But I have never had the green beer, nor passed out drunk at any of the festivities.
When we were very young, my kid sister and I, were taken to the big parade down Fifth Avenue by our neighbor. We sat on the curb as so many marchers went by I thought the ground moved and the people stood marching in place. I caught a good glimpse of Mayor Lindsey, and an even briefer glimpse of Bobby Kennedy, for he was surrounded by photographers.
How did I know it was Bobby Kennedy? Mrs. Agnes Butts, our neighbor who had taken us to the parade, leaned out against the blue and white police barricade and shouted,
"WE LOVE YOU BAW-BEEE!"
She talked about it all the way back to Mariners Harbor.
I do like to hear from my relations who tell me stories about "Pop". He was gone before I came along and I often wonder how different my life might be if he had the opportunity to influence me.
That is part of the mystery to life I indulge in these days, now that the pressure to be perfect at work is part and parcel of my retirement.
God Bless, and Keep you, Pop. Say hi to mom, and dad, and all the aunts and uncles.
(from L to R) Uncle Stew, Pop, and Daddy)