Saturday, April 11, 2009


picturesbyclaudia 280

This is a picture of my grandmother, Gertrude O’Rourke, brother William.   He was born in 1888 and died in 1979.

This picture is an old photo.  The original has sort of a metallic  sheen and is very reflective.   I do not know what it is made from.   

Uncle Bill never married, he stayed at home to take care of his mother and father.   After they died he stayed with his two sisters Mary O’Rourke and Gertrude O’Rourke Dowd.  Gertrude got married a second time to Pete Graham and after his death moved in with Bill and Mary.

The one thing I remember about Uncle Bill is one summer I was staying with my grandmother for a week and in the evening we would sit on the porch and he would listen to the Pittsburgh Pirates.   If they were on TV he would watch them.   At the beginning of one game the started to play the Star Spangled Banner.   He rose from his seat and held his hand over his heart while they played.    Being about ten or twelve I found this extremely funny.   He also would call my dads car the “machine.”

When he got to be a senior citizen my dad told him he should get a flu shot.   He refused to do that because he said they were putting something in it to kill the old people.   This was the Hong Kong flu season.   Well, into the season some old people started to die from the flu, including  some who had the shot.  Uncle Bill said “See, I told you.”

I never did figure that one out.   In his later years he had a stroke and went to live with my mom and dad.  He would be able to get around and still sit on the porch listening to Pirate Baseball.Bill O'Rourke and Kathy Dowd 1958 001

This is a picture of Uncle Bill in 1958 holding my sister Kathy.   Uncle Bill spent his like working at a soft drink bottling plant and then for Westinghouse in their electric shop.

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