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John F. O'Riordan - Remembrances
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Maire's Memories


The message boards are where I met John and where I met those of you that I'm not actually closely related to, and where I came to know all of you. It was at least partly because of John's warm enthusiasm that I kept coming back to the boards.

John loved the message boards. He liked learning, sharing knowledge, having a laugh, meeting new people and having any old excuse to talk about Ireland. I've had it in the back of my mind that I was sort of glad that he probably wasn't aware of how AOL had reduced the boards so much - he certainly would have protested vehemently, had he known!

It's fitting that the last post he wrote was an almost poetic love letter to Mayo, the Irish county that he loved best. I wish I'd saved that post so we could post it again, but it's gone with the old boards.

Those of us who knew John's funny, warm, knowledgeable presence on this board will miss John very very much. Those of you who did not know John, well, it's a pity - you would have loved him, too.

Because John, or "Seamus" as we called him, was such a fixture on the Irish boards for a long time, we all have stories to tell about him. I thought it might be appropriate to tell how I first came to know Seamus on the boards two years or so ago. If you have some good memory of John to share or have words to say in his memory, please do.

Seamus was one of the first people I came to know on the Irish message boards, and when he found out that my first name is Mary, but that I am not usually called that, he told me a funny story about Irish girls named Mary. I'll see if I can get it right here.

Seamus was first married to Mary Patricia. Mary Patricia was born in a diocese where ALL baby girls were given the first name of Mary, whether the parents wanted it or not. Mary Patricia grew up calling herself Pat. NOT Mary. And all the other little girls in the area grew up calling themselves Kate or Sarah or Margaret or Nora, NEVER Mary.

Seamus, having married Mary Patricia, developed a great fondness for Irish girls named Mary-who-weren't-called-Mary. A number of years ago, Mary Patricia died, leaving Seamus devastated.

Then a new Mary-not-called-Mary came into his life, Mary Bridget. And knowing a Truly Fine Thing when he saw it, and being fond of Irish girls-named-Mary-who-weren't-CALLED-Mary, Seamus married Mary Bridget. Who is called Bridget.

I know Seamus and Bridget were married something over ten years, and that Seamus adored Bridget. Once, when asked what his favorite possession was, he responded with old-fashioned courtliness "My wife - if I may call her that", noting that it was politically incorrect to call Bridget a possession. If anything, I think he belonged to Bridget and not the other way around.

As another Mary-not-called-Mary, Seamus welcomed me to these boards, which he thoroughly enjoyed, as he welcomed everyone. And he welcomed me into his life, for which I am grateful.

A few other little wonderful things about Seamus. He and Bridget have an adored (and very handsome) border collie named Seamus. One had to specify whether one was talking about man or collie when using the name of Seamus.

Seamus' favorite color was green. He loved Irish music. His favorite sports team was Notre Dame's football team. His favorite movie of all time was "The Quiet Man". His dream vacation was a month by the River Moy in County Mayo, and Ireland was his favorite place to visit. He loved Russian Salad Dressing, but that was probably only because there isn't an Irish Salad Dressing.

About a year ago, he was asked if he'd ever committed a crime, and said "not yet!", which made me think that he was hopeful of a bit of belated juvenile delinquency.

Seamus never made fun of people. He was a Renaissance man, a man of many interests and all sorts of eclectic knowledge (favorite indoor game: Trivial Pursuit), and always, always a gentleman.

And our gentleman Seamus - John - will be missed very much.

Maire


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