SUN CITY GRAND
SUN CITY WEST
Aloha and Welcome to My Website!
I am an Associate Broker, Realtor® with Long Realty West Valley, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.
I specialize in real estate sales in Arizona West Valley Golf Retirement Communities.
I have Bachelor of Science Degrees in Chemistry and Biology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration with Project Management concentration.
As a year-round Sun City Grand resident and full-time Associate Broker Realtor®, I can help you buy and/or sell real estate in the golf retirement communities of Sun City Grand, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Arizona Traditions, Sun City Festival, PebbleCreek and Trilogy at Vistancia.
Buyers and sellers receive what they desire when selecting me as their estate agent:
an experienced, dedicated, well-educated, professional local Realtor® who specializes in real estate in Arizona golf retirement communities.
Sun City Grand ~ I LIVE HERE, I WORK HERE, I KNOW THIS COMMUNITY! ©2007
Thank God for the Irish
When I was a kid, our beloved parish priest was Father Thomas O’Malley, and his able assistant was Father William Pierce. Both were from the old sod, Ireland. Each St. Patrick’s Day, the good Knights of Columbus hosted a “Wearing of the Green” dinner for the two good men in the parish hall. The whole congregation turned out in that color, in their honor. Even us boys greatly looked forward to the event, as someone of us was usually able to sneak out a cold bottle of Harp beer or Guinness from the K `night’s icy stash. The dinner was big steaming platters of traditional corned beef and cabbage, with big buttered slices of soda bread on the side. After everyone was stuffed to the gills, all us uniformed school kids were called to attention, and then herded forward in the order of our respective grade by our teacher nun. Over the prior week, out of colored construction paper, paste, Crayola’s, ribbons, foiled stars, and bits of this and that, each of us had ground out 2 big cards, a masterpiece for each priest. The cover was usually something like a rainbow, green clover, a cross, or all three rolled together maybe with a little stickman in a Roman collar to personalize it. On the inside left of the card we wrote whatever kids wrote on the inside left of cards back then, something like “Roses are red, violets are blue, and I hate green scrambled eggs, how about you?” You know, poet laurite type stuff. On the inside right we had what the good nuns called a “Spiritual Bouquet.” It was something that looked like a tally sheet, onto which we had listed so many “Our Fathers” (Lord’s prayer), “Hail Mary’s,” or “Glory Be’s” (prayer honoring Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), plus the number of Masses we’d voluntarily attend, to “offer up” on the priests’ behalf. It was rumored you could score “brownie points” with the nuns if you inflated the numbers. I always shot for the moon. I’ll have to live to be 200 to “deliver” on all I listed on the right side, or operate a “Spiritual bouquet” makeup flower shop on the other side for a few eons, till I clear the slate.
Anyhow, after the food, the cards, the kind word’s from Mother Superior, the Knight’s current Grand Master, the Church Council president, the reigning queen of the Ladies Auxiliary and Altar Society, FINALLY the good Fathers were always called up to say a “few words.” They would be profuse with the “Thank you’s” all around, and then launch into what we had all waited for. They’d share a few jokes at their own expense. Actually, aside from the purloined sip of Guinness, this was the other thing us kids always most looked forward to. The two priests were “good eggs.” They celebrated the blessing of this life even while pointing us to the next. Their humor was earthy and Chaucerian, a bit ribald even, but never mean. They often presented it in a little Abbot and Costello type routine, back and forth, one setting up the other. They were really quite good at it. It would go something like this:
“And Will, whatever came of that in-law of yours?”
“Which one, Tom?”
“ The one that went on trial for armed robbery?”
“Ah, that would be Riley.”
“Aye, that one.”
“Why the jury foreman came out and announced, ‘Not Guilty!’ he did.”
“Ah, that’s good.”
“Well, it would have been, except Riley shouted ‘Oh my! Does that mean I get to keep the money?’”
Caught off guard, everyone would roar, hoot, and clap. The priests would grin and continue:
“But I tell you Tom, Riley’s a sight smarter than his brother Tim. Tim always slept with a gun under his pillow, you know.”
“No, I didn’t know that.”
“Aye. And one night he woke in a bit of a drunken start. Thinking there was someone at the foot of the bed, he yanked out the gun in the dark and fired. Blew off his big toe.”
“Indeed! And you know what Tim told his brother Riley?”
“’Thank the Lord, Rie, I wasn’t sleeping at the other end of the bed like I did when we shared it as kids, or I would have blown my blooming head off!”
“Ain’t that the truth of it?”
More laughter. The parishioners were loving it. Even the nuns were giggling. The priests trooped on:
“Well, I’m glad you made it over tonight Father, you were running late and I was worried.”
“Tied up in the confessional, I was. And the last one was a douser I’ll tell ya. Poor fellow, I could smell the booze a mile away. He came into the box, grunted and groaned a bit, but didn’t say a word. Not a peep. I waited. I waited some more. I wanted to get here before you finished off all the corned beef. So finally, impatient, I pounded on the wall of the confessional box. ‘Ain’t no use in knocking,’ the fellow on the other side shouted back, ‘there’s no paper on this side either!’” The Knights would roar in laughter. Mother Rosalia would blush pink, finger her rosary beads, then unable to help herself giggle into her handkerchief, the while pretending she was wiping her glasses. The good Fathers were on a roll:
“And you heard of the two Irishmen…”
“Was it us?”
“No, two others. Anyhow, they were in a graveyard, reading the tombstones, musing. The one says to the other: ‘Ah, here’s one of a man who lived to be 103!’ ‘Anyone we knew?’ ‘No, ‘twas someone named ‘Miles from Dublin.’”
Father Thomas was from Dublin, and just the mention of it would set him off all nostalgic. He’d whip out his handkerchief and trumpet along with Mother Rosalia, kind of duet like. Father William would get kind of weepy too. Everyone in the audience would blow out of sympathy. The ladies when they set up the dinner tables in the hall always at least doubled the paper napkins against such eventualities. Then someone would shout out “A song Father’s, give us a song!” “Yes, a song!”, someone else would second. All the auditorium would go silent, and Father William who had a true and pure tenor voice, would break forth in his annual and deeply moving rendition of Danny Boy, the ladies passing around the extra paper napkins. Father Tom, on the other hand, had a gravely voice, like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but his bellowing of “Did your mother come from Ireland? was nonetheless so heartfelt that he could never get through it without hot tears streaming down his weathered face. Between the two priests it was really a slam-dunk, now everyone in the audience was in tears. Even I would get all choked up, and I was Mexican. Then again it might have been an allergic reaction to the Guinness. No, it was what it was, a celebration of the heart, the tug of our roots, our home sod, wherever that was, and the love of each other here. We were in it together. Community.
All this was sixty years in the past. But some memories, the good ones, never fade.
Mexican, or Irish, or… well, anything, we are all God’s children, most so when we break bread together. Thanks Father Tom, and Father Will, and Mother Rosalia, and mom and dad, and all you ghosts (saints) of my past, for teaching me that and so much more of worth. And in case you’re wondering, I still celebrate St. Pat’s day with corned beef and cabbage, and many a tall and worthy tale is shared around our table lubed by a good Harp or Guinness or two. VIVA IRISH!
Sun City Grand Resident,
Anthony de la Torre
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