Born in St. Louis of immigrant grandparents, his grandfather, Jeremiah’s kin were tossed in a pit, a mass unmarked grave in rural County Cork. His grandmother, Nellie Burke, was born in a pig sty, County Mayo, overlooking Loch Corrib. Humble roots – an American story.
He attended all Catholic schools, including a monastery – silence, solace, contemplation. No longer religious, he is still able to sit in an empty church, in silence, for hours. O Lord of Hosts, bottom right of this page, imparts the feeling.
BA, ‘69. Drafted, a CO, medic. MA, ‘74. Many jobs, some with big titles: VP of Citibank; Corp. Dir. of IS; Chairman, Mass Communications Dept., and more. It paid the bills, but always more important were and are his wife and daughters and their four sons, hoping all will have lives of integrity with care for others.
He played the bagpipe – still does – with Meeting of the Waters, later Inveran Pipe Band (StL), the Kilty Band of York (PA), practiced with the Zurich (CH) Pipes and Drums. Played or plays other instruments: recorder, alto and tenor, with the Early Music Society of Northern Maryland; bassoon, dulcimer; and guitar, playing and singing in bars, well enough to drink for free.
He married a wonderful woman, Sharon – 1977; raised two equally wonderful women – ‘the girls’; lived in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Hawaii, and various states on the continent. He is fluent, in a semi-educated way, in Irish and studied Russian, Spanish, Thai, Homeric Greek, Latin and German.
He retired in 2009 and took up theatre, mostly writing plays and poetry, then directing, finally producing. Before retiring, he worked for a short time as a social worker – family crisis intervention, child abuse and neglect. It changed his world. He learned children are universal passports. There’s no greater or compelling a reason to strive for a better world than them: to hold them, look into their eyes, hear their laughter, feel their touch. Yet, to realize that every day, children, here, in our own community, go to bed hungry …
He aspires to stir hearts and souls through theatre. And he aspires to make a difference in the lives of our children, those who have so much less than we would want for ourselves or our own.
Sin é. Beannachtaí daofa go léir. (That’s it. Blessings to you all.)