26 June 2011


I have rather stalled in writing.  One reason, of course, is inertia.  Miss one week and it is easier to miss the next ... and the next ... and then a month has gone by.

But there is another reason.  I last wrote a 'Memoir' entry on 7 November, 2010.  I have several times thought that I had better go on with those - but each time have either done nothing or written something else.

What am I afraid of?

'Afraid' does, I think, account for my reluctance.

The accounts I had written up to, and including, the one mentioned above - 46 of them I discover! - have glossed over some pretty rough material.  I have told of things that are decent enough to recount, or at worst the foibles of a young boy, and a very unrefined young boy, at that.  Even during those events, and increasingly as I grew more mature, are quite a few that I am deeply ashamed of.  I saw - and see - no reason to retail them to the world.  They, at least, have no worldly consequences that derive from their history.

At the end of the 7 November 2010 memoir, I said that I met Edna.  This certainly changed my life - and hers - in major ways, and has had very significant worldly consequences.

So ... I fear to go on.  I will do so.  My children - including my and Edna's daughter Katheleen - have asked for this.  I trust they wish it to continue.  But I fear:
  • being rejected by them for my undeniable faults and failings
  • angering them,  by revealing things they do not wish revealed
Regarding the first, my reason tells me that I should not fear their rejection.  Edna knows those faults and failings, as well as anyone, better, perhaps, than anyone but Susan.  Kathleen knows something of them, and I trust her own good heart.  Susan and our four children - Johnny, Helen, Eddie, and Adele - know me as well, and I must trust that their love for me will overcome their repugnance at my ill behaviour.

Regarding the second - those who appear in these memoirs should be reassured that this will not be a lurid and gross chronicle of sins.  Nonetheless, allusion will be made to things which both I and my loved ones will regret.  I think, even so, that it is worthwhile putting down the events of those years, for they have shaped me, and they have certainly played a part in shaping each of those involved in the events.

All of which sounds fairly dismal, and I think it worth saying that there were things in those times that, given what I was capable of, show that I, at times, rose above my worst faults.  There are things that I do not like recalling; there are things that I am confident point to better things ahead.

As I said, I met Edna.  I do not remember the details of that meeting.  I think that I was already acquainted with Harry Frank, and that he was the link between me and Edna.  Edna is a reader of these notes, and so perhaps she can confirm that this is true.  I think that Harry lived in the "House of Logy" where David, Lanny, Lee (I think), and I lived.

I am ashamed to say that I do not even know - perhaps never knew, which, no doubt, says a lot about me - what Edna was studying at the University - something in me says that she was studying psychology, but it is only a vague memory.  Edna had been born in Northern Ireland - in Cookstown, I think.  That may, indeed, have been one of the attractions she had for me.  I have always had romantic feelings connected with Ireland - never, I trust, to be shattered by any actual experience of the country.  Edna's speech was not Irish.  Her family had come to San Francisco when she was - what? - five? six?  Quite young, anyway.

And I was 19, and was attracted to Edna in the ways that 19-year olds are attracted to young women.  It was a very short time - a matter of a few weeks at most, I think - before I had convinced Edna to marry me.