Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Great-Uncle Ira

This is my Great-Uncle, Ira Trimble, who was born and raised in the Dungannistan (Dungannon) area where he lived for his entire life, making a living as a photographer and travel agent. He was a photographer when photography involved cameras such as this brute (below), which in fact belonged to him.
Ira Trimble is remembered for being an eccentric character: the local newspaper, the (hysterical laughter*) Tyrone Courier reported many years ago on an incident that landed him in court, but also reaffirmed his reputation for being a (small d) democrat, a believer in equality and a person of great kindness.

The Courier reported that a vagrant had walked into Dungannon one day and a local police constable spotted him, and assaulted him: the tramp ended up in the gutter, where his already-filthy clothes got even dirtier.

Watching this scene, Great-Uncle Ira intervened on the behalf of the tramp, and - according to the Courier - he threw the constable's coat or overcoat, into the gutter as well. Great-Uncle Ira at the scene and in court later, attested to the police officer's lack of manners towards the man who, though homeless, was - I am paraphrasing - 'no less a human being than the cop was.' The Judge that day sided with Ira.

And now for something new even to me: as I searched for his name online tonight, in the faint hope of finding some more information about him, the Internet churned up the nugget below (I took this below as a screen shot).

It seems Great-Uncle Ira wrote a book or pamphlet about our home town. This image above is from a web site which represents an organization which aggregates old books and scans them so that they can be republished on demand... (as such, that is merely a sample mock-up book cover, but that does not take away from the fact that Great-Uncle Ira wrote a book).

I have the faintest of memories of my father telling me that Ira (who died in the early 1940s if not before) wrote such a book. More soon...!

* The Tyrone Courier is a sure bet in the Worst Newspaper In The World Contest, 20010.