Monday, December 3, 2012


Or vacation - whatever you want to call it. I have it. No more working for a while. The tourism season is over. But unlike a teacher on her summer holidays, I don't get paid for those holidays, and my 'summer' is in winter. Still, I took a holiday so to speak and spent a good month in New York. Rather than reflecting on the entire sojourn with you like a September 'what I did on my summer holidays' essay, I'll skip to the end.

The second half of my US trip would bring me to Albany New York. Or so I thought. “It's a good thing you didn't start walking to downtown Albany, Garvan, as we don't live there anymore.” “Great. So where are ye living.”

I've never heard of Troy, New York. At least, I can't recall the city. So, what have you got to offer?

Many notable people were born or resided in Troy. Hermann Melville, Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president and James Connolly. Wait, what? Is this an American James Connolly, you know like that Irish Rebel who went to the moon with Neil Armstrong?

No. The James Connolly lived in Troy from 1903-05. Couldn't believe it when I found out! What chance!

Apparently, the Irish martyr lived in Troy from 1903 to 1905. To support his family of six, he worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He continue to be active in pursing socialism and advocating the ideals he was to die for in 1916.

His bust is only a few metres away from that of Uncle Sam whose statue is… well, different, shall we say.

Uncle Sam and Connolly, however, aren’t as dissimilar as their tributes may denote. They’re both personifications and heroes for their respective countries.
And just like his statue in Dublin, I cannot pass by Connolly’s bust without placing a respecting palm upon the cold bronze.