Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lego 7965 Millenium Falcon Escape Pod

John put a how-to on Youtube.  You can learn how to modify your Lego  Millenium Falcon!

Pretty good, huh!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Daddy Con & the Passing Ship

My Grandfather, Daddy Con (Nana’s Father), was born in 1894 and grew up in southwest County Cork, Ireland, near Skibberreen, not far from the ocean.  One of the ways he and his boyhood friends used to pass the time was to climb the nearby hills to spots overlooking the ocean and watch for large ships passing by the southern Irish coast.

In the decade before WWI there was considerable Irish immigration from Ireland to America, Australia and New Zealand.  Many ships sailing from England or other parts of Northern Europe would make a final stop in Cork City to fill their third class passenger space with Irish immigrants.

These ships usually sailed out of Cork Harbor on Sunday morning.  After Sunday morning Mass, it was a common practice for them to check the newspapers to see what ships were sailing from Cork.  If it looked like there were any interesting ships sailing they would climb a hill near their home in Maultrahane and, if the weather cooperated, they would be able to watch the ships sail by.  Often the paper would have pictures of the ships and Daddy Con and his friends would do their best to identify them.

Daddy Con in Revere, Mass.
about 1925
The interesting ships didn’t always sail on Sunday, and there was one time, it happened to be a Thursday, when he and his friends rushed home after school to make their trip up the hill.

There was a ship sailing that afternoon that they really wanted to see.  Even though this was the ship’s maiden voyage, it was already probably the most famous ship ever built. And, due to something that would happen a few days later, it would remain the most famous ship ever built.  Daddy Con was 17 and he would remember that ship and that day for the rest of his life.  He even remembered the date, April 11, 1912.

They hadn’t been sitting up on the hillside long, when she hove into view.  The day was a bit hazy, but they could see her clearly enough and recognized her.  They had the picture from the paper and the ship had a distinctive profile.  Very few ships had four stacks.

Yes, it was the Titanic, on her way to destiny.

Skibbereen is at the teardrop "A"
I should also add, the Titanic was built in Ireland at the shipyards in Belfast.  Your Irish cousins like to say, "She was fine when she left here!"


When Nana, Dad & I visiteed Ireland in 1994, Nana mentioned this story to her cousins.  Nana told them that she had always thought that this was on of Dady Con's "tall tales" and that it probably had not happened.

Her cousin Tige (Ty), who was closer to Daddy Con's age than Nana's, assured her that it very likely was true.  That, as Daddy Con had stated, ship-watching was a common pastime.  Tige took us out from his home, up onto a small ridge and pointed out the view of the ocean.  He explained that it was very common to see ships from this point.  Tige was very sure that Daddy Con's story was true.