Taking Bill’s advice into account. I’m buzzed, drunk and at his suggestion, writing. No inhibitions. The two of us just got back from Westwood NJ where my sister in law Karen had a party celebrating her 50th birthday. It turned out to be a lot of fun. There was some anxiety since it was my family, and Bill’s first appearance before them since the shit went down in August.
But of course there was no need for the anxiety. The other O’Toole’s, Brian and Frank had no place to say anything anyhow. It was a celebration of life. Very important since the last time a gathering of this many people was for a funeral or a wake. Those are no fun, whether or not it was an Irish wake or what have you. It’s a drag with a corpse around.
I took about 54 pictures. Well at least about 54 pictures were taken with my camera. Bill, saint that he is, had one beer. Designated driver, a title he wears proudly, allowed me to get pissed, in the British sense. It was a great night. Lot’s of laughs and smiles.
To this day, to my embarrassment, still have difficulty knowing which D’Alessandro woman is which. Laura, Jane, Mary all beautiful in their own way, and after 20 years I still need a name tag. With 3 O’Toole men and 1 O’Toole woman, they have the advantage. I can easily tell Bill from John D’Allesandro.
They are such a warm and welcoming family. Perhaps they are dysfunctional but not like the O’Tooles. We wear it on our sleeves. John O’Toole, aka Jackie and his wife Corinne made an appearance, though they chose to sit at a table away from me and Frank and his family.
Jackie is closer to my father’s generation than Frank, Annemarie and myself are. i.e. Jackie’s a republican. Brian follows that line also. So politics are something to be avoided. Jackie is the last remaining link to the O’Toole’s that we have. We don’t have any contact with our Uncle Bobby’s kids, or our Aunt Mary’s (the original Diddy) kids. Apparently Eddie Langton’s daughter is doing something interesting, but not interesting enough to remember right now.
Didn’t even know he had a daughter. I remember Eddie Langston being an old fart before he was even qualified for such a title. My mother’s side of the family was more easy going and closer in age than the O’Tooles were. Like I said, Jackie is it. The seeds of antagonism on the O’Tooles had taken root and will probably be insurmountable. The Powers, my mother’s family are closer and easily more communicative.
Regardless we gathered together to celebrate Karen’s having lived 50 years on the planet. A wonderful time. Even danced with Karen to Kool and the Gang’s ‘Celebration’. Sweet. Danced with her daughters, and danced with my nieces.
Hung out with Brian, hung out with Frank. All was good. Bill danced up a storm and won the heart of every woman on the dance floor. I love this guy so much.