This is our second feature documenting the activity of various family members. As we are are a far flung group, it’s fun to catch a glimpse of those who live at some distance and whom we therefore see less often than we’d like.
Our first issue in this series on Cal Gatch III and today’s post on Clare Cromie O’Toole both explore agricultural lifestyles. Recent work by members of our Archive Committee, hosted at regular intervals by Aunt Eleanor Kalish, has turned up some interesting correspondence that provides a familial and historical context for such agrarian pursuits. I quote the following letter of July 1943 from Old Granny Polk to her daughter Grizelda, off visiting her husband Lemoine, an Ensign in the Navy:
“…We have a black goat, pale tan and a white one, sheep, horses, cows, calves, bull, steers, pigs, sows, hogs, mules, and now, best of all, two tiny little newborn kittens. The zoo isn’t in it with our barn yard! Henry Meyer had the horses hitched to the cultivator yesterday when Sarah Gatch was here and I asked him to give her a ride. He sat her up in front of him, Sarah much pleased but when the horses moved at a slow and stately pace Sarah clutched and screamed…”
This farming tradition is alive and well amongst Old Granny’s progeny, not only with Cal Gatch Jr in Iowa, Call III in Wisconsin, but as this glimpse will show, in County Carlow Ireland where Patrick (Clare’s father-in-law), Laurence and Clare O’Toole provide the following comments and photographs:
Clare Cromie O’Toole, Ballaghclay, Clonmore, County Carlow, Ireland…
Clare earned a BA in International Relations from Tufts University in 1996 and a MBA from Trinity College, in Dublin Ireland in November 2002. Until last year she worked as Vice President with Fusion Market Group, a company providing marketing expertise for high tech services, but more recently Clare has focused on activites on the O’Toole family farm where her father-in-law Patrick still has a beef herd. Clare adds:
“Currently I’m working on developing my own little business selling fruit leathers in farmers markets – I’m slowly but surely getting all of the licensing and paperwork in place and workspace authorized and hope to be producing and selling by October.
Laurence is telecommuting with ICS – the same NY based engineering firm where he was working when I met him. They upgrade power generating turbines all over the world – he’s got projects in Morocco, Russia and Turkey at the moment. He loves the travel and the international cast of characters he works with on these projects. On occasion, I’ll jump on plane and join him. I enjoy meeting his colleagues and their families and getting a real taste for family life in places like Morocco and Istanbul.”
Here is a map showing Clonmore, County Carlow, a village named after St Mogue who, in the sixth century, established a religious community and built a monastery at the location. Clonmore (Irish: Chluain MhÃ³r, meaning Mogue’s large meadow) is a village in County Carlow, Ireland. It is located 3 1/2 miles south of Hacketstown and 9 miles east of Tullow in the north-east corner of County Carlow.
St Mogue was an early bishop of Ferns, born about 550 at Inisbrefny (an island in Templeport Lake).
The Wikipedia entry on St Mogue says this about the new-born saint-to-be:
“There was no boat to take the infant to the mainland to be baptised so he is said to have been miraculously floated across the lake on a slab of stone to where Saint Kilian was waiting to perform the baptism. The holy water font in St. Mogue’s Church in Bawnboy is said to be made from part of that stone.”
Below are photos provided by Clare.
Patrick at work haying. Mouse over for closeup.
Clare welcoming the arrival of Barney.
Laurence – getting geared up for Kitesurfing, Inch Beach, County Kerry
Many thanks to Clare and Laurence for sharing these comments and pictures with the rest of us. More Glimpses (from Molly and Gareth, Joe Pentland, Qun Sha, and others) to follow…