Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Bridging Generations

Yesterday, while crossing a footbridge at a beach here in Maine, we came upon a cute little 10 year old girl leaning over the wooden railing watching her father trolling for crabs in the water inlet below. The name “McDonough” was emblazoned across the back of the softball shirt she was wearing. I get ridiculously excited when I meet other people named McDonough, so I couldn’t wait to strike up a conversation. “What’s your name?”I asked, in the most non-pedophile voice I could muster. “Caitlin” she said. “Wow! My daughter’s name is Caitlin McDonough.” She smiled, but I could tell she wasn’t as taken by this fact as I was. “Where do you live?” I asked next, even though my wife was giving me that “you’re kind of being creepy” look. “Boston,” she said. “Wow! my ancestors first immigrated to Boston.” Caitlin smiled and turned back to look over the bridge as if to dismiss me. After putting our sand chairs away, I went back to the bridge and introduced myself to Patrick and Linda McDonough, Caitlin’s parents. They told me that the name McDonough is ubiquitous in Boston, “a dime a dozen” was the phrase I think Patrick used. They were very friendly, but I could tell they didn’t share my enthusiasm for finding distant relatives. I was a little disappointed, but before I left them to their crab pots, I told Caitlin that my daughter’s middle name was Aileen. Caitlin told me that her middle name was “Arlene”. I was now beside myself. I even think my Bean-town cousins were a little impressed by that.

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