Looking at My Irish Roots

Looking at My Irish Roots Visual artists often stop and take stock and select works for a retrospective of their art work. Here is a chance to do the same with my story work. When I read the Song-catcher by Sharyn McCrumb, a novel featuring a ballad handed down through generations of her southern family, 

I was impressed by the way she incorporates family history into her story. came to storytelling through genealogy and did much more of that when I first started telling stories. She inspires me to go back in that direction, asking new questions. In the biography on her website Sharyn McCrumb talks about the two worlds of her parents. That’s true of my family too. 

 My father’s family was proud of their social position, which was based on my grandmother’s father. He was a Mecklenburg County elected official and a very popular figure. When I looked up his obituary in the Charlotte Observer a huge picture of him stared back at me from the front page of the newspaper. I remember my grandmogher as a tall, aristocratic looking woman who was not prone to spontaneous hug. She was the mother of eight children, she was a reader, a versifier, an Anglophile and an avid Bridge player. She was proud of her lineage, especially her Confederate roots, because she did not know her Revolutionary War ties. If she had looked into it she would have found her Revolutionary War roots and saved me a lot of trouble later. She would have been proud of all those deep tap roots that came through her father’s paternal family. Her father’s mother was an Irish immigrant, from Tipperary, Ireland who arrived in America in 1837. She came with an extended family before the potato famine. Maybe they were seeking religious freedom, because they had both money and a trade. She left us our Catholic faith. Her family arrived in America through Nova Scotia, went to Albany, New York for a time where they had family, and then came to North Carolina following the little known 1840s gold rush in North Carolina. She married a young doctor from Newton, NC and they had eig Surprisingly no Irish stories have been handed down through the family. I was not raised on the stories she must have told her son and that one would think he told his daughter. And, that he might have told my father, his grandson. The newspaper articles I found about him say he was known as a storyteller and a wit. I wish we had been left a legacy of Irish songs and stories like Sharyn McCrumb describes from her Appalachian family? 

Ever since I discovered my strong Irish heritage I have wondered about this. Now, Sharyn McCrumb, in describing her family, opens the question for me from another perspective. I will dig deeper. I want to find any stories about the Lonergan family of Catherine Cobb.


Blue Darling




Grand-dad with the "boys"

Wonderful days when Jim and I flew in from the East Coast to spend time in California with the Foxes we love - - our daughter, her husband and their three boys who lived close to the southern Ocean in CA. 

Jim loved being with these boys and it reminded him of his own childhood in CA.

Great fun there then- - - - - and now wonderful to have the pictures to keep the memories.I love carrying my cameras.


Remembering Yvonne Pickering Carter - '78


The Eye of Yvonne Pickering Carter -  she was invited to select works from as artists for a show at the WWAC.

When I saw an article about artist Yvonne Pickering Carter recently I was surprised and delighted to recognize her and remember how we worked together in arranging this show.  

We had fun deciding how we wanted to set the uptake for the picture - as I recall Yvonne used the mirror  to connect with the statue. 

She aded her poem - -  quite an addition.

It took time for me to find the picture in my studio- and I am very ,happy to have it out for all again to see. 

I loved working with her,



Remembering John Walter Cobb. Jr.

 For the Remembrance Day today I introduce my father’s uncle, Sgt. John Walter Cobb, Jr. who served in France for almost two years.  Then 2 days before the War ended, he died there from the great Flu Epidemic.  He is buried in the American Military Cemetery in Saint-Mihiel, France – a very lovely place. 

Three years ago, I added a stone for him on the Family plot in Charlotte, N.C. so that he will not be forgotten. Knowing his story has brought him alive for me and others.


The Snake on the Bridge Was Moving Slowly Over the Creek

On a warm Sunday afternoon my daughter and I decided to walk to the Creek which is pretty near. 
The sky was bright above. I felt grand to be out in such weather because the day before it was raining,

We heard active water below the Bridge and we saw several elderly seniors speeding toward us. 
"Its a snake on the Bridge" called the elder man as he rushed by us. 

I looked ahead at the side where the Snake was moving directly over the Bridge. 
Seeing the Snake scared me. 

Another old man called out - "watch out for Snake on the Bridge." 
This Senior's tall son whispered as he passed near me. 
"This snake doesn't have poison - its a racer."

I waved to him as I took several deep breaths ----
then added several pictures.  

Somehow I knew I would come back soon to explore the Creek -
since I have ignored it for years.

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)





Where do family stories come from - - 

My first storytelling passion came from genealogy.

I have often laughed that I began storytelling as a subversive activity.

I wanted a way to tell our family stories so that they would want to listen. And then - as so often happens - the glitter and sparkle of storytelling itself lured me away from genealogy.

I will be posting something about the family 

To start again I have reached back to several posts I wrote couple of years ago.

I love old letters, whether I know the people or not. 

The handwritings bring me close to the person who wrote the letters - - - - 

often there is a story hidden in an old letter

How about you? 



 Tuesday, October 19, 2021,

Bright cold sunlight fills the home rooms.                        That gives me good feelings,                                                     - - - and makes the cat intensely curious.                   

Who knows what's ahead?

I have a deadline.

A few ideas are wiggling in my brain - like small rubber balls that won't stop bouncing back and forth.... while my deadline presses.