Celia and Pat

Sadly, last year we lost Celia, the Irish member of the Bedpans & Bobby Socks gang. Celia was in her nineties and had been in a nursing home in County Kilkenny – not far from her birthplace in Mullinahone, County Tipperary – for some time before her death. 

Gwenda and Pat met Celia when she arrived at the Mt Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, shortly after their own arrival in the spring of 1957, and they quickly became friends.

She joined them when they drove from Cleveland to Florida for a holiday in November of that year. In Miami they blew their remaining funds to fly to Havana, Cuba, staying in a hotel opposite the palace just a few months after it was attacked in an attempt to kill the president. There wasn’t room to write about that holiday in the book, but it probably doesn’t come as a surprise when I say that it was as eventful as all of their trips were!

In April 1958, Celia joined Gwenda, Pat, Molly and Maureen on the road trip that would cover much of the USA as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. She was always a fun member of their team, as well as a hard-working one.

I never met Celia but spoke to her when I was writing the book, and we exchanged letters for several years after that. I would tell her about my gardening, and she would tell me about the farm she and her husband Michael were still running – in their late eighties! 

Celia stayed on in America after the others left, nursing for three years in Los Angeles, before returning home to Ireland. She and Michael, who had known each other since they were children, were married for almost 55 years. They had no children of their own but Celia’s niece, Kate Warren, tells me what an amazing aunt – and great-aunt – she was.

On a happier note, Pat celebrated her 90th birthday in December. Clearly it wasn’t the knees-up she might have had, but relatives, friends and neighbours did their best to make it a special day, and she enjoyed the treats they had lined up for her.

Looking forward to a proper bash for your 100th, Pat! 

This year of 2021 happens to mark ten years since the publication of Bedpans & Bobby Socks. That book led to all the others. I owe a lot to those intrepid nurses!

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5 Responses to Celia and Pat

  1. Alder & Gwenda Gofton says:

    Excellent article. What a good photo –  I can’t remember that one 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sad for Brenda and Pat to lose their dear friend. A wonderful photo of those hound daring girls. Nice blog Barbara.

  3. Alder & Gwenda Gofton says:

    Where did this photo come from? Neither of us can remember it.

  4. Barbara Fox says:

    I thought it was one of your photos that I’d copied, but now I’m not so sure.

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