Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Sisters' Birthday

Today is July 28. It's Independence Day for Peru. There are fantastic celebrations going on down there in Iquitos right now--though I am not there--I'm sure of that. It's also the birthday of my Irish Twin sisters Pat and Regina. They were both born on July 28, Pat in 1947, and Regina in 1955. Same day, years apart, is called Irish Twins. I guess it happens quite a bit in the old country--not unreasonable given that so many had so many children and the cold snaps, the time you might just want to cuddle up, are fairly predictable and very regular. Until the speeded up global warming, anyway.

My sister Pat is the gal, who, with here partner Frank Olinski, designed the MTV logo. It was the first logo that changed constantly while keeping a few established elements. It earned their company, Manhattan Design, a slot in Time Magazine's 100 Top Designs of the 20th Century. She's been ill for quite a while now, but she's a fighter and I hope she pulls through.
When she was a kid she gave us younger kids--I was four years younger, Barbara six years younger and Reg eight years younger--horse rides on her back through the house and had different names for the different personalities of the horses she pretended to be. I generally liked her bucking bronco horse.
I love you, Pat. Thanks for being my sister.
Regina was my baby sister. She was the one I was just old enough to baby when she was born. I mean, I was 4 1/2 to her birth, and so I got to take care of her a lot. Gosh, she was one of the most beautiful women in the world. And she's got an Irish heart of gold. You need something? Before you asked it was at your feet. That kind of generous.
Unfortunately, coming last in a fairly long line, all of whom were very smart in school, her personal defense was to be lousy in school until she dropped out of high school. We didn't care. She was plenty smart but preferred to go to Manhattan and wait tables and make money to doing math.
Until she married Tom Leonard--my great, late brother-in-law whom I have written about several times on this blog. He pushed her to get her high school GED, the diploma equivalent. And when she did, he pushed her to go to Hunter College of the City University of New York--a great university and a great college--and she did and she finally got through and graduated at about 37 or so, then got her Masters, then began teaching in Harlem, New York when it was still tough and while there her school awarded her Teacher of the Year honors twice.
She's still teaching, but I don't think she has to teach too much longer to get her pension. She's been doing it for 20 years by now I think. Or close to it. And putting up with New York City public schools as a teacher, well, you earn every cent of that pension.
I love you, Reg. Thanks for being my sister.
Pat and Reg: Both of you, along with Mike, Peg and Barbara, were the best team I was ever on, and I boast about my current jungle team all the time. So know that you were not just good, but you all helped shape me, for better or worse.
Happy Birthday, Pat and Reg! I hope this is your best year yet!

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