Tuesday, January 08, 2019

1943 … Paddy, the Welshman, reads the tea leaves

In 1943 I was 10 years old, the youngest of 5 girls and living in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. World War II was in full swing and my family was doing it's part by entertaining some of the English sailors who were stationed at the Fargo Naval Base in Boston. They would come out by train on the weekends and it was not unusual for us to have 4 or 5 of them at one visit. We loved it ... and them. A special favorite was Paddy, the Welshman.

It was also the time of “brown outs” and no lights were allowed to show at night. Luckily our old Victorian home had an inner hallway with steps to the 2nd floor. It was completely enclosed so we'd congregate there nightly to tell tall tales and just generally chill out. It was a special treat when Paddy was among us. He was a great story teller and he loved to practice the art of telling our fortunes using the age-old method of reading tea leaves.

We would choose our favorite spot on the staircase, fill our teacups to the brim (making sure that we got a good share of the leaves) and sit back in anticipation. Then, one by one, as we finished our tea, we'd hand the cup to Paddy. He'd make a great show of turning the cup upside down and twirling it around. When he finally looked at the tea leaves he would express astonishment and wonder at what he saw there. More often than not it would include a handsome man for the gals and gobs of money for the men.

There was a war raging and those boys knew they would be back in the thick of it soon … but for a short time that was all forgotten as Paddy, with a bit of blarney and a cupful of tea leaves transported us all to a magical place filled to the brim with love.

PS: I don't like that only Google members can post on my blog. If you want to leave a comment feel free to email it to me at snowflakesnew@gmail.com  &I will post it.  


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Another fine Ginnie memory.

3:49 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Tears and smiles here this morning upon reading this story, Ginnie. Wonderful!

5:07 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

How wonderful that the boys got a brief respite from the war. I love this story.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I think what you did as a family was wonderful. Did not know we had English training here in the US. Did you ever try to locate him via the Internet?

11:44 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I am sure that the visits to your home meant as much to Paddy as they did to you and your sisters, Ginnie.

3:52 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Don't you wish you knew what became of those boys? The jobs they had, their wives, children... Wouldn't it be cool if somehow you met up with one of Paddy's children or grandchildren?
You know I hate facebook, but who knows? If your story and his picture was posted, somebody might look at it and say - Look! It looks like that picture of Grandpa!
Now how cool would THAT be?
'Course it could be some bloke from Nigeria pretending... ya never know.

8:25 AM  

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