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Jubilee

Saturday I went to a party in Oakland for the 50 year jubilee of Father John Finbarr Hayes. John is my cousin, his mother(who lives in the bay area also and just turned 101 years old) and my grandmother were sisters, born into the Harrington family that used to live in the square in Castletownbere.

It was really good to see a bunch of my cousins gathering again. While I have become familiar with a good number of my US relatives, there are many outside the bay area that I see very little of. Growing up in Ireland my only link as a child to my US relatives was mostly via my grand aunt Sister Antonio, and most of the stories she told didn't really sink in at the time, as the people and places were so far removed. Now that I have been living here for so many years, I feel much more connected. I also seem to enjoy the special status of having been raised in the same town as one of their parents or grandparents in the old country.

Kevin Hayes visited Ireland when I was about 18 years old. He was the first cousin from San Francisco that I got to know. And just a couple of weeks ago he had a little boy he named Liam Charles. Couldn't be more happy for him and Barbara, and all the new uncles and grandparents.

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