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John Palcewski's Journal

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It's In My Blood

My grandmother Edna, the hard-drinking and headstrong Irishwoman in the white dress above, always told me I was her favorite little boy, because we were exactly alike. In the early 1900s she gave up her vaudeville singing & dancing career and got married in Ohio to one Frank Joyce, whose ancestors lived in a small village in the Maum Valley, to the west of Lough Mask in the northern part of County Galway.

She liked to say that she was just the latest in an unbroken line of rogues and criminals. Her grandfather, Jack, for instance. During The Famine he was convicted of sheep stealing and subsequently transported to a penal colony in New South Wales, Australia.

Edna may have left vaudeville, but she never gave up singing, dancing, smoking, and drinking. She did what she pleased. Always. Frank thought that once his wild wife had baby Betty, she'd settle down. Not a chance. Look at the picture below. It's Edna and my mother Betty, at the Avalon Ballroom in Youngstown, having a good time. Frank is at home, with the dog, listening to the radio play-by-play of the Cleveland Indians game.

I've always liked being a direct descendant of an Irish sheep stealer and a vaudeville trooper. It's an interesting story. And, more important, this history has provided me all the excuses I ever needed for my own wild and outrageous behavior.

It's in my blood. You know?


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I really like what you are doing with these stories... it has been kind of like one of those photomosaics... each little picture is complete in itself, but also creates a much larger picture...

Your interpretation is as interesting as it is flattering, and of course I'm grateful. Thanks!

What wonderful pictures of the wild women in your family! This entry really made me smile. Edna sounds like someone I would have loved to have known.

and p.s. I found the fighter pilot snapshot so will email a high resolution scan when I get back to my home/Destin computer set up.

Thanks. Yes, she was a pistol. I'm looking forward to the scan and if I use it in a story I'll be sure to give you a credit or acknowledgement in any form you wish. Something like, "photo courtesy of..."

I wish I had that body type so I could recreate pictures like that.

Or if I knew people that would enjoy playing with me.

And then of course, I have to learn to take pictures decently.

Anyways, I LOVE that picture with the pipe.

Your grandmother was a spunky lady. It sure is nice to be touched by people like that.

The more pics you take, the better you'll get...so keep shooting! Thanks for your comments...

Edna's pose with the pipe says it all!

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