Thursday, December 03, 2009

My Great Uncle Ira's Passport

J. Ira S. Trimble. The 'S' is for Sankey: my Great-Uncle was named after the beloved American hymn-writer, Ira Sankey.

Some family trivia: one day years after Ira was dead and buried, an agitated woman came into my father's toy shop in Dungannon and said she had been in the local Drumglass Graveyard. She had seen the Trimble family plot, she whispered, and it was kept most neatly and properly, as it should be. She remembered the Trimbles. Lovely, lovely men. (In fact, Ira's eldest brother Andrew, was a doctor and chief tuberculosis officer of Northern Ireland).

"But," she whispered, "I... was... shocked... to see... that they were associated with the I.R.A.!"

From how my late father described Ira, I imagine he would have roared with laughter inside his head but would have responded, deadpan: "The Trimble family. Has always Sought. To violently overthrow. The six county military statelet. Of Norn Iron."

And some other trivia: an allograph may be the opposite of an autograph; that is, a person's words or name (signature) written by someone else.