Sunday, April 24, 2016

Saluting Dad at Castle Clinton

In 1862 Thomas Costello, at 12 the youngest of four brothers, walked from a village called Casla (Costello in English) about 12 miles west of Galway near where the ferry leaves for the Aran Islands.  He boarded a ship to join his brothers in Brooklyn.  He entered at Castle Clinton at The Battery.  He married Bridget Slattery and their daughter Teresa married George Washington Conk. 
Their son George, Jr., my father, died five days ago at the age of 96, ten years older than Thomas was when he died in 1940.  A widower, he lived his last years with his daughter,  and son in law. Twenty when Thomas died, Dad was the last person living who knew one of our many Ireland born ancestors.   
Today we celebrated Dad's life at Gigino, at Washington Park, the Battery, a stone's throw from Castle Clinton where Thomas landed.  Surrounding me are my loving wife and kids and their kids.  Thank you Marilyn, Taisy, Tasha, Annabel, Georgia, Muffy, Bradley, Sanaa, and Kyla for helping me to remember and honor my father George, and, of course, my mother Clare.
In front of Castle Clinton where, before Ellis Island was built,
our Irish ancestors entered the United States.