Monday, September 04, 2006
Voices from the Other Side
It's obvious that the nights are lengthening and Autumn is approaching because I seem to be drawn to reflecting on old friends who've crossed over. Not necessarily friends who've left recently, either. Raven died in 1986 and came to mind -- well, he frequently comes to mind, mine and the minds of many others -- because his and our Shadowfax was dying. Ann Turner died in the '80s and Judy Foster in 2000. When Corby and I visited Ireland in 2004, our friend, linguist Jim Duran (Séamas Ó Direáin), now living in Galway, told us of the death of my old friend Padraigin McGillicuddy.
I have no photo of Padraigin. I can find nothing on the Web except references to her old radio show, "A Terrible Beauty," on KPFA. What I do have is fond memories.
Padraigin used to live in a huge old Victorian in Oakland, said to have been the childhood home of Gertrude Stein. She who is said to have said of Oakland, "There is no there there." I can't say what Oakland was like in the late 19th century when Gertrude lived there, but I find plenty there now.
Padraigin had a son named Sean Peter who died tragically some years ago, by his own hand. Our mutual friend, harper Sharon Devlin Folsom tells me that Padraigin's daughter, Kerry McGillicuddy, is an athlete, perhaps a phys ed teacher, a personal trainer or a coach. A Google search netted me the information that she used to be the recreation director of LYRIC and that she recently has been a women's basketball referee.
I'm mentioning all this detail because two people have contacted me about Padraigin. One has some family photos she'd like to give to Kerry. The other would like permission to reprint material from Padraigin's booklet, The Patriarch Revealed: A Feminist View of St. Patrick (1981). And speaking of the departed, another old Institute of Celtic Studies friend, Ken Ruffner, did the artwork on the cover and inside the book.
In the meantime, I've tried contacting another contributor to the book, Bob Callahan of Before Columbus Foundation and the New College Irish Studies Program to seek permission and to see if he can help me locate Kerry. If you have any information about Padraigin or Kerry, please contact me.