Predictions and such

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 2, 2003

Let me state right here we Irish are great at predicting. We’ll make predictions about anything good, bad, serious, or stupid. Example – my Uncle Michael would predict things so weird you would swear he had the brain of a gnat. Not so. Uncle Mike was worth millions from the smart choice he made dealing with stockbrokers he would steer clear of because they made everyone losers. Not Uncle Mike! He would say – &uot;I predict&uot; and, up it would soar. But don’t you try it – it only soared for Uncle Mike. To their regret family members tried to ride on his coat tails and lost money. No matter what he got involved in it made money – lots!

In my immediate family Dad was the &uot;I predict&uot; one. Not half as good as his brother. One night he and Uncle Mike went to their K of C lodge meeting. After business was over they went to the bar. Sitting there was a new member just admitted that evening. Neither Dad nor Uncle Mike ever saw him before. Suddenly Uncle Mike said to Dad, &uot;$10 he has five beers and does something foolish.&uot; Dad found it a safe bet and took it. First they checked with the bartender (a friend and lodge member) as to how many beers he had so far – answer – his first. Dad and Mike watched as he ordered two, three, four. When the fifth came it started the drinker telling dirty jokes. He then demonstrated how some gals danced in a burlesque show he saw the night before. Dad paid Mike without a word. Easy money!

Dad’s mother was another &uot;I predict&uot; but she stayed close to Irish sayings and superstitions. Her best example her son Randall (a handsome devil) went to Rome to study and become a priest. For this, says grandma, she was promised (never said by whom) that she, on death would go straight, no stops, to heaven. It was, she declared, because she gave a son to God and He (God) was saying, &uot;Thank you.&uot; How could you prove her predictions wrong? Follow her to the grave?


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Dad and Mother, both Irish, were fond of predicting what we, their offspring, would do as adults, Irish children are always referred to as &uot;that one’ when parents talk. With eight kids wouldn’t you think they might be saying, &uot;which one?&uot; Never! They always knew somehow &uot;which one.&uot; Here was mine as Dad told me when I asked about it. Since I was his favorite (honestly) he said, &uot;Your mother said that you would live to drive some poor man crazy (bless him) but give him lots of joy also and the children will be smart.&uot; How can I go against predicting Mama? I agree.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.