Bud Flanagan's Stories

Told on July 2, 2006

Has anyone ever heard of mustard bread? A slice of bread, spread thin with mustard and sprinkled with sugar.

And then there was my Grandmother, who would tear up pieces of bread and put them in an empty jam or jelly jar and eat it with her fork, not to waste anything, (Depresion years period.)

From Baltimore, Maryland, just south of the Mason-Dixon line

Told on July 4, 2006:

I was always told: That as a long as an ancestor's name is spoken, they will always be with you in spirit and love and caring.

So- On those lonely nights, I get out my scrapbook, and have one for Grandfather Flanagan, then one for Grandfather Downey, Then one for G Grandfather Gallagher, never made it back more then 4 Generations.. but I will keep trying.

Again on July 4, 2006

I loved to visit the old family home out in Mt Washington, a suburb of Baltmore on the # 25 street car line.

Saturday breakfast was something special as everyone would be home at the same time. You had to show up Friday night so that my Aunt Helen would know how much to fix.

We started with homemade Oatmeal. Then there were the rolled biscuits and sausage gravy. Fresh tomatoes and fried pork chops were the side dishes to her speciality "Eggs to order". Ice cold Milk and hot fresh ground coffee completed the meal.

Sometimes the menu changed but one thing remained the same. No one lifted a fork untill a prayer was offered.

My, how times have changed.

Told on July 30, 2006:

Back in the days of prohabition, cetain members of my family used to make beer in the basements of their homes. They used the old slanted concrete wash sinks so my mom didn't get to use them for a couple of weeks.

On one particular night, we smelled smoke coming up the basement steps. My Mom called the Fire Department, my sister ran across the street to get the neighborhood Policeman and we all ran outside to watch the Fire engines coming down Cold Spring Lane.

The fire was put out in a matter of minutes.

The Policeman was writing down all that had happened. He looked around to get the Fireman's signature on the report, could not find any of them, yet the truck was still in front of the house.

When he went to the celler door to look, he heard a bunch of men's voices singing "Sweet Adaline" . It took a half hour to get the fireman away from the sinks filled with beer.

When I was a young boy, every neighborhood had a resident Policeman, Fireman and Mailman.

Told on August 10, 2006:

On a hot day we would put a pepermint stick in a lemon and suck the juices. Mom would plug a watermelon, drain it, and load it with Kool Aid. I and my four sisters would take turns on what flavor to add.

We only had the Mustard bread for an after school snack. This was in Maryland in the late 30's & early 40's.

Told on October 22, 2006

When I first started to trace my Flanagan ancestors, and could afford a trip to Ireland, I was not sure where to look. I had narrowed it down to co Fermanagh as that is where several of them are buried.

I made it a point to kneel and say an "Ava" prayer at any and all gravesites bearing the family name.

I may have prayed for your ancestors as well as mine.

We are all family

Told on November 4, 2006

Thanksgiving Day was a special time of year in my Flanagan household. A gathering of the family just for the enjoyment of conversation and togeatherness. The family has spread and thinned out but the memory of times past is not forgotten.

It takes a while to prepare the traditional meal. I take this time, while working in the kitchen, to remember times past, of different places we celebrated this day. Of the good times when all were healthy and still with us. Of some of the trying times when we were seperated like in Korea and Viet Nahm.

You can lose photos, you can lose a book of names and places, we still have our memories.

I like turkey. I like leftovers. It takes the same anount of time to fix a large bird as it does for a small one. I am now alone, but I still got me a 23 lb hen in my freezer. I will cook it, gut it, freeze it in packages, and enjoy it for a few more months.

Each time I can bring back those precious memories.

Told on November 15, 2006:

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Md. I did not start searching until I left that area. I went back and found a lot, but still had some blanks to fill in.

Moved to Spokane, Wa. in 1989. Went to the public Library - found a book for St Mary's Catholic cemetery in Baltimore, with a list of everyone buried there who had a marker of some sort. This book is old and lists by section and grave #.

Almost 3,000 miles away and still found valuable information. GO to your local Library and USE it.

Told on February 19, 2007:

How my parents met, by Bud Flanagan --

Mom lived in St Ignatius parish and Dad in Sacred Heart Parish in Baltimore, about 8 miles apart, but in a straight line of the streetcar tracks, # 25 line up Falls Road.

It was a practice at that time for the churches to have fund raising activities such as Street Fairs and Bingo.

One of my Dad's friends went to St Ignatius and invited him to one of their Fairs.

My Mom was working at the 'Spin the Wheel' booth where you put your money on a number, spin the wheel and if lucky, your number comes up, you get a prize.

Well, my Dad saw my Mom, wanted to meet her, so he stayed at her booth. Lo and behold, she ran out of prizes. The parish priest was walking by and my Mom asked him for more prizes. He didn't have any more so he picked up my Mom, put her on a number and spun the wheel.

You all know what happened, and here I am.

Told on January 17, 2008

My Father's generation grew up in a small house on the side of a hill in Mt Washington, a suburb of Baltimore, Md., There were 4 boys; William, Frank, Joseph & Edward and two girls; Helen & Margaret.

Any one who went to the store of the church from up the hill had to pass by the Flanagan's place. Hence, it was unofficially named Flanagan Lane.

It was on the city maps up to 1940. After that date, it was given another name.

I was fortunate to have a legal drawing of the property with the names in place.

Told on October 16, 2009

I remember growing up and doing a lot of things I would not do now.
Dropping a piece of candy on the ground, wipe it off and eating it.
Let my friend lick my lollipop.
Sharing an ice cream cone with my pet dog.
Getting a cut and still go on playing while it bled a little bit.
What all this did was to let my body build up an immunity to germs and kept getting stonger as I grew up.
The children of today and the last generation do not have this type of immunity.
Thank our parents for letting us have fun!

Told on January 3, 2010

For a few years, I stayed home, had a hobby, gained some weight and read a lot of books. I was existing. I was also stagnating.

One day, a notice in the local newspaper got my attention. A senior group was forming to take day trips and too socialize. We met in a local restaurant. Over 60 of us showed up. Some were in wheelchairs. A few fell asleep at the tables. We also found out that a local Assited Living facility was going to use us as senior sitters for them.

After the third meeting, we dwindled down to less then 20 bodies. Our first official group activity was to attend the "Happy Hour" at the local 'hot spot'. The food was good, the beverages cold, the music too-o-o loud and majority of the the other people were almost old enough to be our grandchildren.

We were down to eight bodies. six Ladies and me and my friend Charlie. One of the ladies was a member of the Moose Lodge and suggested that we try that next week. We did and I have been dancing ever since.

Told on March 15, 2010

When I retired from Luke AFB in Glendale, Az, I moved to Gilbert, Az., to be closer to my new job. My three sons still lived with me, so it was a no brainer to get a swimming pool. We lived on an acre of land that had to be irrigated from a canal system. To make sure that the pool did not get irrigation water, we had to raise the deck level 18 inches. Local law requires a fence so we built a block wall fence 6 foot high around it and attached it to the house.

We now have a level acre with a pool with a six foot fence inclosing 18 inches of dirt inside. We put in a diving board, the pool was 10 feet deep. The diving board was 24 inches above the cool deck. Keep adding these figures up.

So, one night, my wife and I, the kids were gone camping, decided to turn the light out and go skinny dipping. Naturally I used the diving board. Ah ! what a breeze.

The very next day, my wife got a phone call from the neighbors, "They wanted to know when the next show was" ???

It seems that if you add 18 inches of dirt, then another 24 inches for a diving board above the rest of the surronding acre, that is 3 1/2 feet up the interior wall already -- and when I jumped off the diving board, In all my glory, I was two foot higher then the surronding wall. And we lived in a Mormon neighborhood.

The Irish are not a bashful bunch, impetious yes, but not bashful

Told on July 4, 2010

While stationed in England back in the 1960's at West Ruislip RAF base, My family and I lived in a second floor apartment over a car parts store. Our neighbors on both side were also Americans in the Air Force. We all got togeather, on our back porches, to celebrate the 4th of July Yes, fireworks were legal in England then. When it got dark we really started celebrating and were getting a little noisy. The owner of the store came up and wanted to know what was going on. We gave him a big hamburger, and a cold beer. It did not take long for him to help us celebrate. He especially like shooting off the 'Roman Candles'.

To our amusement, he aimed it at a passing train from the underground, and ended up setting the weeds next to the tracks on fire. After the small fire was put out by the local Fire Department, we were visited by an an English 'Bobby'. When the store owner admitted to starting the fire, the policeman left and the party ended.

Some Englishmen do celebrate the 4th also.