|Photo taken from |
"Lismore, Autobiography of an Irish Town, 1937-1957"
by James Ballantyne
Last August as I perused the book shelves in the Lismore Heritage Shop I stumbled upon the above photo. It includes Mike Feeney, childhood friend of my Dad's, Cora, Dad's older sister, Theresa, his first cousin, Paddy Ballantyne and five year old Dad.
When I got over the shock and delight of discovering the photograph, I was struck by the strong resemblance between my father and my third child. They could be twins.
A copy of this photograph now graces my family album. The album holds many photographs of my Dad as a teenager and young man. But only two of the child my father once was. The one above and his Communion photograph. So this was a very precious find. When I saw it on page nineteen of "Lismore, Autobiography of an Irish Town, 1937-1957," I had to purchase the book.
Also in the book is a photograph of Dad's Uncle Jim, leading an FCA march down Main Street, Lismore in 1942. Uncle Jim and his daughter Theresa (see photo above) are mentioned a number of times in the book. There is a recounting of Uncle Jim spearheading the effort to keep the Lismore Library at its Central Library status. How Jim supplied and delivered milk to the locality until the creameries began to bottle it, putting him out of the milk delivery business.
The book's authour, James Ballantyne, grew up on West Street. Just a few doors down from the house/shop my family resided in for over four generations before my Grandfather's birth. West Street is where my Grandfather with his brothers, Jim, Jackie, Mick, Patrick and sisters Brigid and Nora grew-up. It is where my Dad spent all his free time. Dad's childhood reminisces of adventures and friends were always Lismore based. This makes me wonder, could there be other photographs from his young boy days floating around in Lismore attics or in Lismoreian family albums. The prospect excites me.
You never know what you may find, where or when you might find it. If you are lucky like I was one afternoon last August....something totally unexpected might just fall into your lap!