Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Interlude: The Girl and Her Horse

Ellen O'Mara, 1905. (source)

There is a story on my mother's side of the family that my great-grandfather, James Sullivan, attended a horse show with a friend of his not long after being appointed to a diplomatic position by the U.S. government. While at the show, he noticed one Ellen "Nell" O'Mara, the daughter of the mayor of Limerick, riding by. Upon seeing her, he turned to his friend and said, "That's the woman I'm going to marry." He was proven right; Nell O’Mara Sullivan later became the mother of my grandfather Stephen.

I wonder, sometimes, how many other men have spoken with such surety and conviction. I wonder whether their stories ended similarly. I wonder if James Sullivan would have spoken with such certainty about anything else in his life, had his attention been elsewhere when that pretty Irish girl went by on her horse.

(I'm still flying.)