Parched Intellectualism

It was like a verbal sort of Ping Pong. Swifter and faster, arguments flew back and forth between them, sometimes the strain of the conversation snapping into laughter. I could not participate, but I watched and listened, soaking up their intellectualism like a thirsty plant. Here was a way of thinking and speaking that I had not been exposed to, but which was something I knew I wanted in my life. It seemed that the three of them had arrived at their liberal views of the world through educating themselves, analyzing ideas, investigating, and researching further what they had learned.

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Irish Immigration

This is typical of many Irish immigrants who left their country behind and never talked about their life in Ireland, what county they lived in, and what they did when they arrived in the States . It is often a mystery of how or why immigrants like Johanna Hannagan’s parents traveled from the East Coast to places like Lafayette .

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Childbirth with a Midwife

“My mama had us all at home in the same bed with the same midwife. There were ten of us and I was the last baby. We knew that midwife all our lives. She was a great big lady and she had a good sense a humor, always laughin’. When I got married, she told your grandpa, ‘You treat my girl right. Gladys is my baby too, and if I hear a you mistreatin’ my baby, I’m gonna come afta you.’” My grandma laughed aloud at this memory, her wrinkled face beaming.

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Childbirth can be Cruel

She had entered the hospital and been drugged, giving birth unconsciously. With her third child she went into labor two months early. One of the nurses had roughly pushed her onto the birthing bed, pinched her arm, and said in a callous, irritated voice, “You just couldn’t wait, could you?” It was the last thing anyone had uttered to her before she went under.

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