It wasn't sixty years ago micks, like other groups, were considered untrustworthy outsiders, a distaste that vanished from our society only with the election—and killing—of John F. Kennedy.
I still remember offhand remarks made by adults that made the distaste clear to me.
When I conjure up the past lives of Irish-Americans, I picture tin miners and tunnel diggers; road workers and factory stiffs; Civil War soldiers and civil servants.
These people are part of me; I stand on their shoulders.
There are past lives that are a part of me which I haven't thought about.
My alma mater, Georgetown University, sold 272 of its slaves "down the river" in 1838. The slaves, who built the school, were sold out of necessity. The income—$3.3 million in today's money—retired a debt that, if unpaid, would have meant the end to the institution.
I stand on their shoulders, too.