Patrick Brady

As told to his daughter, Mary Joe Corrigan.

My Name is Patrick Brady. I was born on September 6, 1941 in County Cavan, Ireland. I was born and raised on our family farm. I was one of 10 children,  five boys and five girls.  We lived in a four bedroom house on seventy acres.  Both of my parent were also farmers but my mother was a psychiatric nurse prior to getting married and starting a family. My Mother worked in County Monaghan in the psychiatric hospital. She lived in Monaghan part of the time but would ride her bike 15 miles back home on her days off to help with farm work and visit family. My parent were married in 1937. Growing up on the farm we were kept busy with milking cows, taking care of the horses, and picking potatoes. When I was young we did not have electricity, phone or indoor pluming. In 1955 electricity was brought to our house. And soon after that indoor pluming came as well.

My best memory of childhood is walking to school with our family and neighbors.15 -20 of us would walk 2 miles to school  and home. We would laugh and play along the way. My worst memory as a child is when I was helping my Father start the car and while he was cranking the engine it had jumped forward and pinned him against the wall. He had a broken leg and was in a cast for almost 6 months. I attended Drung National School. I graduated when I was 15years old but was too young to leave Ireland. I continued to work on our farm but thought about going to Canada to work.

I left Ireland on May 4th 1960. We had a good spring that year so all the crops were taken care of before I left. I flew from Shannon to Alberta, Canada. It was also warm when we arrived in Canada but soon after we headed North, the weather was cold and it  would go down to 55 degrees below 0. I found work with the International Nickel Co. in their nickel and copper mines. We lived in bunk houses that housed 30-40 people per house. We were paid $2.00 an hour but our meals and housing were given to us.

In 1963 I moved to Germantown, Pennsylvania. Two of my sisters had emigrated a few years earlier. My first job in Philadelphia was at the Sears warehouse. In 1964 I returned to Ireland for a month’s holiday after being laid off. I spent the time visiting, family and friends, dancing and playing football with my old team. Shortly after my return to Philadelphia my younger brother John joined us as well. John arrived in America with the president of Ireland, Eamon DeVelara , also oh his flight coming to attend the funeral of John F. Kennedy.

The transition of leaving Ireland and coming to America was fairly easy to me because there were so many people from home here. We would attend dances in Upper Darby every Saturday night and new people were coming all the times. I was comfortable in Philadelphia but wanted to see more of the country.

In 1965 my friend and I drove from Boston to San Francisco in 4 days in our green Volkswagen bug. We found work in construction shortly after arriving in San Francisco but later got a job with American Airlines. I spent two and a half years in California but returned to Philadelphia in 1967.

In 1968 I married Mary Henry from County Mayo Ireland. We raised 5 children in Aldan Pennsylvania. I continued to work for American Airlines until 2003 when I retired after 37 years of service. I now reside in Media Pennsylvania with my family but return to Ireland often to visit family and friends.