Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

A Very Special Birthday Celebration

dadjoeIt was really special for me to be able to help get  my Dad (Bill Keough) and his brother Joe together in St. Charles, Missouri after almost ten years.  These guys were from the “Great Generation” – WWII Veterans and just all around great family men and patriots.

What a wonderful and very special visit we had with my Dad’s brother’s family in Missouri.  The St. Louis area is crawling with Keough’s. My Uncle Jo and Aunt Belle had eight children and now have over 29 Grandchildren and something like 10 great grand children.

It was so good to listen to my Dad and his brother Joe reminisce about growing up in New York City.


My Uncle told the story about the last time he saw Mimi before she died. She was sitting in her room with rosary beads in one hand a beer in the other. That was so like my Grandmother Mimi. Weterdadjoe made it a point to visit my Grandparents grave while we were there.


He also shared stories of growing up on Bleaker Street and then Brooklyn with my Dad and their other brother Bud who is now deceased.

I can only imagine what it must have been like growing up during the depression years. Most people today cannot fathom what that must have been like. My Grandfather who we called Pop was a truckdadjoegrave driver and not exactly the most amiable person around. He had a terrible temper and a grumpy disposition. My Grandmother Mimi (Anna) basically put up with the big, brash lug all her married life. I only remember him when he was older and apparently a little more mellowed and personable.

I love the story of when he would get up on the weekends and get dressed up in his white straw hat and white suit looking like a big country gentleman and just stand by the front of his Brooklyn home watching people walk by and after a awhile he’d cross the street and lean next to another stoop before finally heading out to the local corner bar. What a character he must have been and what a difficult childhood my father and his brother’s must have had putting up with his wrath when he came home drunk.

I don’t know why I waited so many years to visit with my cousins. For me it has been 34 years since I last saw them. I rode my motorcycle through St. Charles when I got out of college on my way to California.

joebdayWe spent Joe’s entire Birthday  visiting, telling stories, sharing memories and just getting to know one another again after all these years. I can see so many similarities in our families, personalities and traits. dadjoewalk

Happy 89th Birthday Uncle Joe!

I am not going to let too much time go by without making an effort to see my cousins again or get them to North Carolina for a visit.  What was really great was seeing my Dad and his brother together laughing and enjoying each others company surrounded by their loving family.

This visit made me realize just how precious family is and how important it is to keep family ties, stay connected and develop real relationships with our family members.  It’s been 35 years since I had been to Missouri to see Uncle and his big family.  It’s cliche to say how the time has flown by and as I get older it becomes more and more evident to me just how important it is to stay connected and support our extended families.


7 comments on “A Very Special Birthday Celebration

  1. Mary Flanagan
    August 14, 2009

    Hi Patrick, Thank You so much for taking the trip with Terry. How incredable it must have felt being there after not seeing anyone of our cousins for 35 yrs. One minute we’re all young teenagers and the next minute we’re all middle aged!! I am also considering a short visit to MO perhaps, in the spring of 2010. Please send me a photo disc of your trip, I would love to see all the pictures you took while you were there. Thanks Again!!!!! Love Mary

  2. Patrick Keough
    August 15, 2009

    I be glad to send you a CD of the photos Mary. Yes…it was a wonderful visit and it is hard to believe so many years have gone by since our childhood in New York.

  3. James Keough
    August 15, 2009

    Cuz…It was an unforgettable visit. Soooo glad you and Ter-man joined your father for the trip. It was like long lost buds. Really a great feeling to have you guys here, sluggin down a few beers, and lettin the stories roll..A superb job on the “Happy Birthday-go-round”…thanks for doin that. I would love to see all the pics and vids you took. Can you post to youtube? Connecting was really great, there’s nothing else quite like it. And your write-up on your blog here is terrific. Love it. Hope you 3 amigos had as much fun as we did. Love you man….James

  4. Zach Keough
    August 15, 2009

    Great insert on Papa Doc (Joe) and my great uncle Bill. Don’t think we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, but I’m Kevin’s son–Papa Doc’s first grandson. Papa Doc was such an inspiration to me as a child, I decided to follow in his footsteps and serve in the military…going on 15 years, now. Don’t think I have the Chiropractor in me (as Papa Doc and Kevin do/did), but I really enjoy hearing Papa Doc school us/me on the Keough lineage and history–as he knows it…would have love to have been there for the reunion…trust me, I’m very much like Kevin, so you wouldn’t have missed him if I were there…thx again.


  5. keoughp
    August 16, 2009

    Yes James it was an awesome visit way overdue! I will send a DVD up your way with all the pics and videos in the coming weeks. Beers were good! Stories great and it was just terrific to see the old brother’s reunited after all these years. Love ya back!

  6. keoughp
    August 16, 2009

    Great to hear from you Zach! Where are you stationed? Yes…it would have been great if you could have been there. Send me an address and I’ll send you a CD with photos and the videos I shot of the old guys telling war stories. Thanks for serving our country Zach!

  7. ter
    August 21, 2009

    the mustash man has done it again…great job pat…thanks for meeting me and pop in st louis…to bad the mustash just couldn’t hang with the big orange man at da’ show-me’s…..

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This entry was posted on August 14, 2009 by in Keough Journal.
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