January 28, 2011

Memoir II

I see that my memoir did not begin chronologically but skipped ahead a decade. So let me start at the beginning.

My family line begins with Adam and Eve who lived happily in a garden drinking beer and schnapps when...

* fast forward *

Great-grandfather James H. O'Rama, like all sons of a Irishmen, was at the races when the tornado hit.

He was waiting in line at the betting ring at the Fairgrounds in St. Louis, waiting to cash a winning ticket in the fifth race, when a great crash was heard. It was the sound of the roof of the grandstand being blown off and destroyed, thus quickly ending James's rare win streak. Bookmakers and bettors ran in panic in all directions and as the wind continued to blow, several hundred thought it only a matter of time that every shelter would be destroyed so they ran out across the track and into the center field.

But James was not among them. He wanted his money and kept yelling for the cashiers to come back. He had three children to feed, one just two weeks old on this 26th day of May in 1896, and he wasn't a man who found the alternative - work - too congenial.

For the purpose of the census he called himself a laborer like his daddy, who was born in Ireland in 1837 and escaped the famine at the tender age of 10, arriving in Massachusetts with his uncle before finally settling in New Jersey. James the younger was born there a month after Appomattox ended the Civil War, a war which saw ten O'Ramas from New Jersey participate in, including one James O'Rama Sr., a blacksmith by trade from Patterson who enlisted with the 2nd Infantry, Company B of Massachusetts when the war was almost over, in May of 1864. The 28-year old got wounded though not seriously, healthy enough was he such that his furlough in November of '64 had born fruit in the form of a son and namesake.

* fast forward *

And then I started blogging, around November of 2001, and ...

* rewind! *

I was born a middle-class white boy, shucking the amniotic fluid for what is colloquially known as "air" but which, more exactly, contains a mixture of various gases contributing to the earth's atmosphere. To flagrantly generalize, air consists of molecular nitrogen (N2) with a volume count of 78%, molecular oxygen (O2) with a volume count of 20%. There are also small amounts of Argon (Ar) with a volume of 1.9%, Neon (Ne), Helium (He), Methane (CH4), Krypton (Kr), Hydrogen (H), Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Xenon (Xe). Other gases and elements like water vapour (H2O), Ozone (O3), Carbon-dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are found in variable concentration. The ammonia and hydrogen sulphide are also common constituent of air. Stratosphere and is an effective absorber and emitter of infrared radiation.

* (Hard getting the hang of this memoir thing...)


mrsdarwin said...

I want more great-granddad O'Rama and his way with the horses. You need to complete the family circle by going to the races next time you're on vacation. Perhaps karma will deliver you the earnings that James H. should have bequeathed to you.

TS said...

Funny, but guess where our just-after-Christmas extended family gatherings are? Yep, at the race track!