Tales of my father
My father came to the U.S. as a recent college graduate trying to escape a civil war. He landed in Boston’s Logan International Airport with twenty dollars in his pocket and an idea about the American Dream.
My dad was born in the city of Derry, also known as Londonderry, in Northern Ireland. As the two different names insinuate, Derry, as my father calls it, is a city split between Protestants and Catholics. Throughout the 20th century, Derry was a battleground between the British forces and the Irish Republican Army, commonly known as the IRA.
The IRA was trying to “liberate” the North from British oppression whilst the British army was attempting to stomp out the rebellion. My father grew up in the middle of this the equivalent to living in present day Iraq.
Working as an “illegal” immigrant, he got a job in a grungy Irish pub in Boston as a bartender. My father then promptly returned to the mother country.
Realizing how abysmal the situation in Ireland actually was, he hastily applied for an American visa. He then returned to the land of opportunity.
My dad came to America to better his situation, which he did… sort of.
Although he had a bachelor’s degree from a good British university, he could not find work in education, so he began bartending. My dad eventually made his way San Francisco, he fell in love with my Irish-German mother and the rest is history.
My dad is my hero.
He has done everything to better my life. He quit bartending and went to San Francisco State University to get his master’s degree. He then went on to get his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California.
He has done all of this to ensure that I had a safe and stable upbringing, unlike his own.
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