Enter Your Email Address to Subscribe to News

Delivered by FeedBurner


Posts
Comments

 

 

Home | »

Have You Ever Wondered About YOUR Irish Ancestry?

By lajollahomes | April 7, 2009

lo-res-ire-margaret-noonan-1860-baptismal-record.JPG

“Well, indeed we might very well be cousins,” the man replied with a glint in his eye, “Have ye any money?” And so began the delightful climax of our search for the roots of the Noonan family tree.  Our vacation drive through Ireland led to the very church altar where Greg’s great-great grandparents had baptized their six children in the mid-1800’s, an epic journey punctuated by cheerful pub-crawls and chance meetings that laid bare the true heart of legendary Irish grace and charm.

lo-res-ire-narrow-road-to-drom.JPG After arriving to Shannon in weary, bleary-eyed condition and renting a small, questionably-sturdy two-door Alfa Romeo with right-side driver seat and manual gear shift to the left, we faced the prospect of a three-hour drive to Ballina, our friend Msgr Fox’s hometown in County Mayo, with oblivious expectation and eagerness. Though friends warned about the Irish roads, Greg had promised earnestly not to do anything that might bring me undue stress. But being that this was the first time we had actually driven the impossibly narrow, roads of Ireland—on the “wrong” side of the road with left-handed shift yet— promises be damned. That first leg of the trip was a white-knuckle blur of close calls for both of us as speeding cars and trucks passed breathtakingly close to Greg’s right while I could have sworn I could feel the brush of trees and the perilous roll-threatening edge of pavement at my left. Thank God for the Hertz “Neverlost” GPS which got us through endless numbers of ”roundabouts,” though it would have helped if the soothing voice saying, “Take the third exit at the roundabout,” had instead shrieked, “Check for cars to your RIGHT!”                             

 

Eventually we arrived to Ballina, a picturesque town on the banks of the salmon-rich River Moy with its beautiful estuaries leading to the sea, where we were to celebrate the 50th jubilee of our friend, Sr. Kathleen Clausen, former principal of All Hallows Academy. Right off we called “Fr. Paddy,” as he is known to family and friends, only to receive a sad surprise. “Maureen, my sister, passed away this morning,” the padre said, a new heaviness in the soft lilt of his light brogue. “There’ll be no party but a funeral instead.”

We had met Maureen three years before, when Fr Paddy’s huge, extended family of brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and their children galore welcomed us into their homes, preparing huge feasts of stuffed leg of lamb with three preparations of potatoes and teaching our teenaged sons the joy of a Guinness in hand. They didn’t know us from Adam, but about 12 cousins of all ages had joined forces in the kitchen, cooking and washing dishes for hours, simply because Fr Paddy had asked them to entertain us. It was certainly comforting to see that our beloved pastor had returned home to be surrounded by such caring, boisterous, and wonderful kin, and whenever people from the parish wonder why he would return to cold, rainy Ireland after so many years in America’s Finest City, we are delighted to report Fr Paddy is well taken care of, (and taking care of his family!) indeed.

Despite his house filled with family and details to attend to, the grieving Fr Paddy came right over to our hotel, visiting with us to hear all about the happenings in our family and filling us in on our schedule for the days ahead. A dinner planned for 20 American friends at Belleek Castle—not really a castle at all but an overdressed manor house— would proceed though without the planned attendance of the local Fox family. On the next day would be the wake, Fr Paddy explained, with a funeral mass at the Cathedral to follow a day later. When Greg suggested to me it might not be proper for us to attend the wake, I was flabbergasted. “An Irish wake?” I implored, “Are you kidding? How often does one have a chance to go to a real ‘Irish wake?’” I had visions of dancing and cheer, celebrating the long life of Maureen. Fr Paddy later explained that it used to be true that the body of the deceased remained at home or even the pub where friends and family would visit, creating a party-like atmosphere that often got out of hand. No longer. Maureen’s wake was a dignified, solemn evening of rosary praying and tears, especially for Fr Paddy’s brother, Frank, whose weeping, red-streaked eyes spoke of his sincere affection as friends and family streamed through to offer their sympathy and remark on the virtues of dear Maureen.

Frank, by the way, and his twin sons, Carl and David, speak in an indiscernible, impossible-to follow, thick-tongued accent, common among certain geographical areas and individuals in Ireland. It is as if they have twenty marbles in their mouths each as they speak in their own garbled language—and when I later asked Carl’s cousin, Pauric if he could understand what Carl was telling us, he replied with an impish grin, “Indeed I can, sweetheart, but you haven’t a hope!” We found that in Ballina, anyway, “bar” is pronounced, “be-ar” but is usually called “pub,” sounding something like “poob,” but with the addition of a hard “u” sound. The Irish or Gaelic spellings of Anglicized names often utilize “aire” or “eire” as in Eireland, the Irish spelling of the Republic of Ireland, perhaps explaining the tendency to say a drawn out “ca-re pairk” for “car park,” (a parking lot.) The phrase “It is” is never said in favor of the particularly Irish contraction, “‘tis,” and “indeed” is used constantly as in “’Tis indeed!” If something is “very dear,” indeed ‘tis expensive in Ireland. Further south we again found some people difficult to understand, and I was too often found asking, “Are they speaking Gaelic?” much to the amusement of our Irish hosts.

Maureen’s funeral was held in the large, 19th century stone cathedral right next to the fly fishermen on the River Moy, and the scale of the tribute was, to us, absolutely astonishing. Ballina is a town of 10,000 and its surrounds rural, yet the church was filled to capacity with what seemed like 700 mourners. Everyone in town must have been there to pay their respects, along with approximately 15 priests and the local bishop– and, of course, we visiting Americans, whom Fr Paddy honored by mentioning his “American family.” Afterward, we were included in a Fox family dinner for 120, where we were glad to be able to talk with acquaintances from our previous visit—conversations which continued in the hotel pub where pints of Guinness and “Jimmies” (Jameson whiskey,) flowed freely and our ability to comprehend more than smiles and laughter grew increasingly challenging throughout the night. There was no drinking and driving, however, for the “Garda” Irish police have cracked down with heavy penalties to those who break the law. One of the Foxes had lost his license for six months after drinking “just two pints”—and we found the law is universally respected throughout the country.

After visiting with all available family, we headed by taxi to meet our American friends at a pub and, as is his habit, Greg made friendly acquaintance with our driver, learning much about what to expect from the rest of our trip in the process. Mark Gannon was his name, and he warned us about the young people who speed on the narrow roads “like mad,” causing frequent loss of life that is clearly posted on the side of the highways. He said we would find it was easy to see why the road signs read “94 lives lost in County Mayo in the past 4 Years.” We found such warnings on billboards in each county we crossed, and Mark was right—easy to see why, with a clear distinction between young and mature drivers.

The next leg of our winding, narrow, anxiety-producing drive through Ireland would bring us to the seaside village of Clifden. We enjoyed a magical evening, starting with meeting an Irish gentleman from Dublin who recommended a lovely restaurant where by chance we met the brother of the former president of Ireland and heard all about Obama’s popularity in Europe, “though he didn’t visit Ireland,” we heard stated with perplexed incredulity again and again.

Our travel agent had recommended the Abbey Glen Castle Hotel—again, not a castle at all but a manor home. The Abbey Glen had a small, dimly-lit bar, into which we wandered after dinner in town. When one walks into a pub in Ireland, we found, it seems as if everyone looks stonily his way, barely warming up until later when they’ve grown used to his presence. I wondered if a wariness of strangers had become part of the national culture after enduring hundreds of generations of invasions and outside rule.

After a few minutes of traditional Irish music played by two musicians, a portly gentleman guest with a lovely, kind face– the sort of round, charming countenance one’s imagination brings forth when one thinks of Ireland– walked up to the microphone, whispered in the accordion-player’s ear, and began to sing a heartbreakingly beautiful tenor rendition of the sorrowful tune, “Danny Boy.” Everyone in the bar knew the words and sang along, too. Finishing to enthusiastic applause by the 20 customers I counted in the bar, the man offered another tune, this time in bona-fide Gaelic, or “Irish” as they say. Again, it seemed almost everyone present knew those foreign-sounding words—and another lady guest rose up afterward to sing a lively Irish melody. When she had finished, there was another volunteer… and another… Of just 20 guests, six stood to sing, perhaps the dearest being a very elderly, hunched-postured English gent with two canes who hobbled to the end of the bar, steadying himself, and then singing in a strong voice, standing straighter with each note until he was quite upright at the end. He brought tears to our eyes and gave Greg sentimental remembrance of his late Irish dad, later telling us about nights when Bono has come to that same bar, calling friends to fly in by helicopter to join him in entertaining surprised guests for the evening.

After a night in Clifden, we made our way southward in misty weather to stay nearer to the Noonan homeland in County Limerick. Our home for the next few days was Adare Manor, a welcoming, beautiful 19th century estate with a world-class golf course and gorgeous manicured grounds. In the “Drawing Room” or bar of the hotel, (it seems we went from bar to bar in the re-telling, doesn’t it?) we met a friendly bartender named Lisa who came from Newcastle, just miles from Dromcollogher. Lisa used a cocktail napkin to draw a handy map of “Drom’s” signature diamond-shaped square, pinpointing where we could expect to find the Irish Dresden porcelain factory, a Chinese restaurant, and, yes, the pubs. “You must check with the parish priests,” she said, “In Ireland they always live next door to the church.”  

Given Lisa’s encouragement and armed with a dossier filled with information compiled by professional genealogist, Kyle Betit of Progenealogist.com, we were ready to take the 45 minute drive to “Drom.” We had originally contacted Kyle after our first trip to Ireland, when we had purchased a poster map of the country which purported to show the origins of common Irish names. Greg’s father had said the family hailed from Limerick but details were sketchy. Sure enough the poster showed the name Noonan just between south Limerick and northern Cork counties, piquing our interest just enough to set me off on a Google search which led us straight to Kyle Betit of Progeneaologists.com where I spent about $500 to surprise Greg with an initial round of research.

Within months, we received a full report including copies of original documents showing in handwritten script that Greg’s great-grandfather, Mortimer Noonan, had emigrated from the Dromcollogher area and settled in Chicago. Four of his five brothers and sisters had followed him there. In Chicago, Morty married Margaret Geary, also an immigrant from the Dromcollagher-Feenagh townland. They bore a son, Greg’s grandfather, and seven daughters, (no wonder Greg’s grandfather drank!) Now I have to say that seeing the actual documents—with Greg’s forebear’s handwritten signature and records—was rather a kick, but we didn’t order further research for another year or two.

When Kyle wrote to say he would be traveling to Dublin for onsite research, however, we took the bait and sent another payment for which we received an additional folder of material, including the information that Greg’s Irish great-great grandparents, Margaret Lynch and John Noonan, had baptized at least four of their six children in the Dromcollogher-Feenagh Parish.We drove to Dromcollogher without the benefit of GPS assistance, as Dromcollogher—also spelled Drom Collachair , Dromcolliher and Drumcollogher, which confuses the matter completely—is not in Hertz’s system.

In the continuing drizzle and bouts of heavier downpours, we noticed that black and white cows became more and more prevalent the closer we neared the dairy town. The valley was picturesque and magnificent; this dairy land is known as the “Golden Vale” of Ireland for its rich soil and the views were spectacular, with beautiful green hillside plots all around, separated by trees and dotted with small groupings of cattle. We found the town just as Lisa had described, with the diamond- shaped center nonetheless called “The Square” by locals.  We drove through and opened our window to ask an elderly lady where we might find the local cemetery. Greg explained quickly that we were here from California to find his “Noonan” roots when, pointing across the road she said, “Why, indeed there’s a Noonan right there.”

lo-res-ire-jim-noonan-and-greg.JPG Greg bounded out of the car at once, climbing a muddy ridge and reaching his hand through a wire fence to introduce himself to the man on the other side. He was a mid-sized, middle-aged, pleasant gent with grey hair and a handlebar moustache. Jim Noonan looked up with bright blue eyes and answered Greg’s introduction with a wide grin, “Well, indeed we might very well be cousins. Have ye any money?” thus beginning a kinship that brought us into the homes of several locals and them into our hearts forever.

Jim didn’t hesitate to interrupt his holiday, directing us to “The Corner House” pub where we would meet right then to discuss our search. He had a merry, elf-like face that made him likeable right away, and he wouldn’t let us buy the Guinness pints he brought to the table. The pub was timeless—with stone walls and wood ceiling, lined with historic photos and newspaper articles of Dromcollogher’s past. We took amused note of a particularly interesting group of three photos framed together and displayed for adoration above the bar: Popes Paul and John Paul II flanking the most revered of the bunch, JFK.As soon as we had explained our research, Jim declared we should talk with a local named Seamus Stack—a gentleman who had inherited the property of one Jim “Fluffy” Noonan, so-called because “he weighed some twenty-two stone” and was beloved by all. He repeatedly called the busy Seamus’ cell phone but, getting no answer, sent us off to the local church to see where 46 victims of a tragic and famous 1926 Dromcollogher fire were buried in a communal grave, promising to meet us back at the pub later.

The Dromcollogher church, St. Bartholomew’s, is a beautiful, glass-lit, renovated relic with an older tower and bell and, as promised, a large Celtic cross with carved names marking a mass grave out front. A caretaker came along and pointed to the priest’s car, advising we should go right over to ask about the family. Father Jim Ambrose was in a hurry, but was nevertheless generous in going back into the rectory to retrieve a neatly typed and indexed record of the parish’s baptisms and marriages from the 1800’s. He explained that there are no records from before 1830 or so, as Penal Law was only repealed in 1829. Before then, the ruling English had hoped to destroy Catholicism, with priests threatened with death and services held secretly at “mass rocks” scattered throughout the countryside, usually at the top of hills where worshipers could see soldiers en route. Certainly there is a poignant resignation that persists upon mention of the dependency on and rule by English landlords during the 19th century, a sad undercurrent to any otherwise lighthearted conversation.

Noticing that we did not find Greg’s ancestors in the records, the good father smiled and quickly started up with, “Well you can be sure the Noonans are indeed a noble family of chieftains, known for caretaking for the Fitzgeralds, the ruling family of the area. Ah, yes, nobles indeed,” he continued, “See the old tower? The Noonans, in fact, probably built the original church right here.” Having been told about the Irish tendency to embellish the truth—“not really lyin’ but tellin’ a tale”– and noting that there were no Noonan property owners in the tax records of the 1800’s, I was doubting the family was quite the distinguished clan the good father was describing, while Greg just lapped the story up. (Turns out indeed ‘tis absolutely true, but that evidence came later.)

We heard later that Fr. Ambrose is rarely at the rectory because he was attacked there by young hoodlums from Limerick City one night, held and beaten for hours while being robbed of the church collections. It seems Limerick has caught up with the 21st century and drug use is rampant– and with it, crime.

We returned to the church, taking pictures of its altar, when who should show up but Jim Noonan accompanied by a movie-star handsome middle-aged friend with a thick shock of white hair and black Irish eyebrows. (We discovered that all Irish man over 40 have white or grey hair.) “This is Seamus Stack,” Jim announced proudly. Seamus had a gentile manner and quietly explained that he had inherited land from his father’s cousin, the aforementioned Fluffy, and he listened patiently while we reiterated the information we had about our Noonans. Seamus mentioned that many Noonans were buried at the Tullylease Abbey nearby, including the famous athlete, Frank Noonan, who had been so beloved that the whole town walked the 12 miles to carry his casket to his burial place at Tullylease when he died prematurely at 48.

Despite his busy schedule, Seamus took the time to invite us for a drink at the pub, telling us a little about his career as a cattle rancher and pointing out an article on the pub wall depicting him as a young man working to create a livestock market that remains the pride of Drom. He was also responsible for attracting the Dresden factory and for the creation of a respite center, providing employment for the young people and rest for the aged, and it was clear from everyone we met that indeed Seamus is an extraordinarily well-respected and well-to-do civic leader.

While at the pub, Seamus mentioned we might wish to talk with a Mrs. Norris, an 87 year old widow in nearby Feenagh whose mother was a Noonan. He then invited us to follow him to his own immaculately manicured home called Ross. There are no street numbers in Dromcollogher or its surrounds nor do addresses contain street names; each home instead has a proper name like “Ross” or “Woodfield,” often the name of an ancestral home in another area. Seamus invited us into his quaint living room, full of antiques, florals, and ancestral photos, and presented us with a gift that was to become dearly precious: a bound history of Dromcollogher rife with mentions of Noonans. Going even further to be of help, he then phoned Mrs Norris, arranging for us to meet her the next day.

lo-res-tullylease-abbey.JPG After a short but intriguing visit, we ventured on to Tullylease to peruse the graveyard. Tullylease was an old ruin of the former abbey, just parts of old stone walls from the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries standing, but we found a gleaming newer stone of Noonans at the site of the former altar, just as Seamus had promised. While there were several Noonans and Nunans, most of the headstones were illegible, having given way to weather and age. The oldest we could read was circa 1792, reading “Here lyes the body of Philip Nunan.” There was also a beautiful 9th century Celtic cross slab in the Abbey, a survivor from the early days of the monastery and considered by experts to be among the very finest early Christian crosses in existence in Ireland.

After leaving Tullylease Abbey, we found Jim Noonan in “Skullers,” another of the four pubs in the square.(Jim tells us that that long ago tiny Drom had a pub count of 28!) There Jim introduced us to Nora and Noel Morrissey, the owners of the four bars. Nora, a CPA, had recently returned to Drom after 20 years in America, having lived in New Jersey and worked as a controller for a large corporation. When he heard we were in town researching our family, Noel suggested we might talk with Father Burke, the pastor of Feenagh’s Church, to look at its records which were separate from St Bartholomew’s. But when Noel called him for us, Fr Burke explained the records are with Fr Murphy, the retired pastor of Feenagh.

Returning to our hotel, I fell into bed exhausted, but I was hooked: I couldn’t keep from opening Seamus’ book about Dromcollogher, confirming two of my suspicions: Seamus is indeed among the most esteemed residents of Drom with several pages devoted to him, and, I humbly admit, tis true the O’Nunans are believed to have built the original church. 

After reading for quite awhile, we went to dinner in the dining room, which provides a glimpse into the difficulties we experienced with Irish food. It seemed I was always begging for fresh, steamed vegetables sans the blanket of white sauce. You might find delicious food, but the tastiest items are rarely what we could consider healthful and vice versa. The fried fish and foie gras we ordered from our French waiter at Adare was delicious, for example, but Greg had me giggling as I watched him chew his green salad: a leafy, dark green tangle of what looked like field-mowed weeds and tasted like it, too. It was dressed with a puree of green herbs. “I’m eating this because I know it’s good for me…,” he choked, laughing, “but I just keep envisioning them manicuring the golf course and bringing the clippings to the kitchen.”

 The next morning, we met Mrs Norris at the appointed hour, at her tidy, bright pink house right next to the church in the tiny town of Feenagh, just a couple of miles outside of Drom. We were continually surprised that everyone referred to each of these small townlands– Feenagh and Dromcollogher, Ballymongaun, Coolaboy and Broadford– as if they were entirely separate places though they seemed, to us, very close to each other. We surmised that in the days of horse and buggy these distances must have been quite significant indeed. Jim and Seamus and Fr Ambrose would say, “Hmmm… maybe you are of the Feenagh Noonans… or perhaps they were from Broadford…” as if all these Noonans could possibly be unrelated though they lived within a 7 or 10 mile radius. It seemed a bit ludicrous to me, yet spoke loudly of the different lifestyles of the ages and continents.

lo-res-ire-greg-and-mrs-norris.JPG We found Mrs. Norris to be as sweet and lovely as a lady could be, impeccably dressed in a blouse, sweater and skirt, with beautifully coiffed soft, white curls.  I thought she looked like a perfect Mrs. Santa Claus. Mrs. Norris invited us in to sit by the cast iron stove in her charming kitchen. I silently pointed Greg to an older photo on the table, of a man who looked uncannily similar to Greg’s father. Like Seamus, Mrs. Norris had many photos of past generations of family about the tiny room, and she explained to us that her grandfather had traveled to Chicago when a relation had died in the early 1900’s; it is entirely possible that relative was one of Greg’s Chicago Noonans.

While we were at Mrs. Norris’ house, Seamus took time from his work day to stop by and confirm we were all comfortably together. He offered to show us the property he inherited from Jim “Fluffy” Noonan just down the road, so we momentarily took leave of Eily to follow Seamus. Seamus pointed out a rosebush there, grown from the famous “Last Irish Rose.” He offered us a cutting to take home, but sadly we declined since we had another few days of travel ahead of us thinking the cutting would certainly die by the time we left Ireland.

While we gazed at Fluffy’s property, a friend stopped her car in the road. Seamus introduced us to Mary McCarthy and when she heard why we were visiting, she parked, got out and told us her mother, too, was a Noonan. Mary is a nurse who spent 20 years in Saudi Arabia before living in Canada for several years; she had recently returned to Ireland, thinking that the money she had saved over the years would provide a carefree lifestyle. Au contraire. We heard again and again that the cost of living in Ireland is exceedingly high, and Mary reported that her Canadian dollar investments were no match for the Euro; she is considering returning to British Columbia. We also heard again the lament that “everything is changing…it’s not the same,” which was repeated by many throughout Ireland. It seems with Ireland’s economic advancement has come modern life with young families succumbing to materialism.

Before she drove off, Mary invited us to stay overnight at her empty house while she worked through the night. We have never before met such unfettered openheartedness and though we had to decline, we were deeply touched by Mary’s kindness. When we returned, Mrs. Norris called Father Murphy to ask if he might show us the parish records. We went over right away and Fr Murphy, an older gentleman with a kindly and craggy face, welcomed us into his home. He was on his way to perform a wedding in Drom right off, but gave us a half an hour to peruse the original, handwritten record book from the Feenagh church. Written in an old-fashioned script in Latin and bound in a leather book, in our hands were the actual records from Greg’s great-great grandparents’ family: handwritten records written in Latin, verifying the dates Kyle had provided of the baptisms of four of their six children. To actually hold the book, touch the pages and see the names of Greg’s forebears was a thrill; I kept thinking they would be very proud if they had only known the man who is their great-great-grandson.

 

We walked into the very church where we now knew Greg’s ancestors had stood with their babies, seeking blessings on their family. Greg lit candles for his parents and knelt to say a prayer while I took pictures and silently said my thanks for such a rewarding journey. We just couldn’t believe our good fortune: not only had we been able to see the same green hillsides and fields Greg’s great-grandfather had enjoyed before leaving for America and stood in the very church he had attended, but we met such very kind, generous people along the way. Visiting Ireland is a pleasure in any case, but if it hadn’t been for this “mission,” we never would have become acquainted with the people in such a personal way.

We returned to Adare after a short jaunt to Killarney—too crowded with Americans!—and Kinsale, a postcard-perfect seaside fishing village in the south. While I relaxed in the huge suite they gave us upon our return to the manor, Greg returned to Dromcollogher, partly because I had become obsessed with the idea of accepting the rose cutting Seamus had offered, and, of course, because Greg wanted to enjoy a last pint at the pub with his buddy, Jim. Greg did go and cut that rose,  (I failed miserably at coaxing the young shoots to root after smuggling them home,) and then he went on to the pub and marveled at the quantity of Carlsberg draft and side shots of Hennesseys Jim enjoyed that day with his brother-in-law, Patrick Noonan. Greg called our son, laughing, “Patrick Noonan? I’m at a pub in Dromcollogher with Patrick Noonan!”

The bartender, too, was a Noonan, as was Patrick’s young cousin whom Greg met outside. Surrounded by Noonans, Greg had a couple of pints over several hours, minding the warnings about drinking and driving, but he was unsuccessful at explaining that he does not frequent the bars at home. Indeed they all judged him either a pansy or a liar as he explained, “We have dinner parties at home or go out to restaurants to have dinner with friends…” Jim Noonan chuckled off Greg’s offers of visits to San Diego to see for himself. “These two legs won’t leave Ireland,” he promised, just as Seamus had before him.

We flew out the next day and tears fell heavily as we left the tarmac; I haven’t a drop of Irish blood myself but I was feeling inexplicably wistful about leaving this place. I can hardly wait to return.

Epilogue

We did not find Greg’s ancestors in the cemeteries we visited, and we might never know if Greg is related to Seamus Stack or Jim Noonan.  But since returning, genealogy has become a fascinating hobby. My cousin long ago created a computerized “GEDCOM” family tree and I loaded it into a free website called Geni.com, (which we highly recommend!) adding information and photos where I could and inviting family via email to view our tree. Six months later we have 791 relatives on that tree, reaching five generations back and two forward, many of whom I found in Colombia, Slovenia, and the Philippines by searching my maiden name at Facebook.com. Greg recently visited the Calvary Cemetery in

Evanston,Illinois, the final resting place of Mortimer and his kin, and Eileen Norris called the other day to see how we were getting on, full of information about our president and asked about that “gun-toting, moose-shooting Sarah Palin!” Jim Noonan and his wife, Hannah, sent live Irish shamrock plants to us for St Patrick’s Day and I cannot express our wonder and delight at having these friendships in our lives.

 

Cartagena, here we come!

 Marilyn Noonan

Topics: Uncategorized | No Comments »