The Irish in America


Day Ten of Irish American Favorites: Grandma McCormack

Agnes McCormack, High School Graduation 1932

Agnes Flannery, High School Graduation, 1932

I always considered my dad’s mother, my Grandma McCormack, to be my fancy grandma. Compared to the other “old people” in my life, Agnes Anastasia Celestine Flannery McCormack seemed more modern, more sophisticated. Just look at her name and that photo above…pretty fancy! But, there was more to it than that.

She had jewelry boxes full of treasures that she actually wore. She had a stereo and listened to classical music and opera. Grandma took French classes and watched British comedy and the soap EastEnders on PBS. In the 1970s and 1980s she wore pantsuits, and when we went to her house she served us artistically arranged platters of veggies and dip.

Two Grandmas: McCormack is in foreground

Two Grandmas: McCormack is in foreground

Grandma was very social. She often entertained her friends, and they reciprocated. Grandma always had beer in the fridge for her best friend, Jane, who visited almost daily. The two women sat on the porch, chatting and laughing for hours. Grandma always had great office supplies – especially brand-new pads of paper.



Grandma and Regan

Every time I hear the EastEnders theme song, I think of Grandma and I miss her. The older I get, the more I appreciate her. Grandma never stopped learning, she kept up her friendships and interests, and always tried to stay current. These are some of the lessons I learned from Grandma McCormack.

I would love to be able to stop by her place, sit on the porch with a beer, and have a nice long chat and a laugh.