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You are viewing the Tribute of Vince Dolan

Tell us when and where you were born.

I was born in Worcester, Ma at ST. Vincent's hospital.

Give us your childhood memories.

It was summertime on the farm and I was lying in my bed looking out the bedroom window.
I noticed how gentle the morning sunlight was and
I observed a mother bird feeding her baby birds in their nest.
The mother bird would arrive at the bird nest and the baby birds would become excited and competitive.
The baby birds would go, “peep- peep” and they would hold their mouths open hoping for food.
The mother bird would feed one baby bird then fly away to get more food.

It was evening in the springtime and I was standing in the driveway and I was looking at the farmhouse and I saw how dark it was.
My parents got behind on their bills and the electric company turned off the power to the farmhouse.
I wondered if one of my brothers or sisters were on electronic life support and what would happen to them?
The electric company turned the power back on when Dad got his act together and Mom got a job as a part time school nurse.

Sometimes I would play in the hay barn.
I would go to the lower level in the hay barn and climb a wooden ladder to the upper level.
One day I went to the lower level to climb the ladder but an older boy from the neighborhood was standing at the ladder so I could not climb.
The older boy was not wearing pants and I remember seeing “hair.”
My body froze.
I tried to move my legs but I couldn’t.
The older boy said, “Come here.”
I struggle inside and then my legs moved and I ran.

Mom worked as a psychiatric nurse in a hospital and she got a white colored straight- jacket from the hospital and she used the straight- jacket to tie me in bed when the babysitter came.
I didn’t like the straight- jacket and I hid a jackknife in the mattress in my bed.
One time when I heard Mom leave the farmhouse, I took the jackknife and I cut the ties on the straight- jacket and I freed myself from my bed.
While I was still wearing the straight- jacket, I went downstairs to the kitchen and I showed the babysitter the jackknife and I explained to her how I cut myself loose.
I felt proud.
The babysitter looked like she had seen a ghost.

Mom had me trapped in the bathroom behind the bathroom door and Mom kept striking me again and again with a leather strap.
Mom’s shrieking and her sobbing and the stinging pain from the leather strap made me feel all mixed up and I cried too.

Mom kept her pills and her vitamins in a cupboard above the kitchen stove.
I was a small child and the cupboard was way-up high.
I got a chair and I climbed up on the kitchen stove and I opened the cupboard and I examined Mom’s pills and her vitamins.
Suddenly the vitamins spilled all over the kitchen floor.
Mom really liked her pills and her vitamins and I knew that I would be in big trouble so I ran outside.
Mom was very angry and she took my fishing pole and she broke it.

I hid under a bed in a bedroom.
Dad was six foot two inches tall and he weighed over two hundred pounds.
Dad lifted the end of the bed and he tried to strike me with his belt.
The belt hit the wooden floor and bounced up and struck the bottom of the bed.
The belt came so close to me that it almost hit me in the face.
I pleaded with Dad not to strike me and Dad paused and I ran to safety.

It was late afternoon and I was with my red bicycle at the end of the driveway.
My baseball glove dangled from the handlebars on my bike.
I looked over my shoulder and I saw Mom standing outside.
Mom said, “Dad won’t let you ride uptown alone to the ball field.”
I said, “I know I can do it.”
Dad was inside the farmhouse doing his usual reading but I really wanted to go to baseball practice and to be with the other boys.
Mom said, “No.”

Tell us about your hands and your face and your heart.

It was late December and I got let go from work and Dad had another heart attack.
I took care of Dad during the winter months but his diabetes got real bad and the nurse and the social worker could not save him.
Dad passed away in the spring.
It was early fall when I finally got a job.
The people at my new job were quirky and they didn’t accept me.
The quirky people talked about me behind my back and the manager brought me into the office and he said, “We’re gonna give you one more chance or we’re gonna have to let you go. Tomorrow report to the Wally Widget group and we’ll take it from there.”
The next day I started working with the Wally Widget group and one of the workers said that my hands were shaking.
I was nervous and winter was coming and I couldn’t lose the job.
Things went well and I kept the job.
You said, “You have small hands.”
Yes, I had small hands but I was able to use my small hands to work inside of big machines and support myself and survive.

Dad told us stories about his father and how he screwed my dad over.
Dad called Mom a “Dumb bunny.”
Dad growled and he said to me, “You’re a nothing.”
When I was growing up I was self conscious about the way I looked.
I didn’t realize at the time that I had a handsome face.
Sometimes I was self-destructive.

We lived together.
We shared meals together and we slept together and we had good sex together.
My girlfriend said, “You’re the most sincere person I have ever known.”

I felt insecure ‘cause I never made as much money as some of the other guys.
I was good at working in the garden and growing vegetables.
I didn’t like to but if I put my mind to it I could grow flowers too.
Mom said, “Kind hearts are in the garden.”

Tell us what made you feel good.

I remember being outside and
I felt a nice and easy breeze.
The sky was bright and
I felt healthy and alive.
I felt peaceful like I was filled with warm water.

Tell us what made you laugh.

I remember falling in love w/ you and
we were talking on the phone and
I loved listening to your voice and
when you laughed, I laughed too.

Tell us what made you feel sad?

When I fug myself,
I become angry,
then I become frustrated,
then I feel sad.

Did you ever fall in love?

Yes I fell in love and it felt great!

Tell us about religion and you.

Please dear God,
help me help myself.

Please dear God,
accept my humble thanks.

Our Father, who is in heaven,
Holy is your name.

Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us our daily bread,
and forgive our sins,
as we forgive those who sinned against us.

Lead us from temptation,
and deliver us from evil. Amen.

Give us a poem.

Thanksgiving Day

I love looking out the kitchen window and watching it snow on Thanksgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Day is my favorite day.
I enjoy the warm weather of spring and summer.
I enjoy listening to baseball on the radio.
I enjoy watching the puffy clouds in the blue summer sky.

I love my niece and nephew and I love going with them to the apple orchard.
When we go to the orchard we buy little bags of candy and we walk around looking at the other people.

My niece is my godchild and she told me, that the hair on my head was getting thinner.
I am getting older and the end of my life is, many years away but I began to wonder.
I am thankful that I had a sound mind.
Many people are smarter than me, but one of my teachers said that I was a “Plugger.”

My body worked the farm, construction and manufacturing.
The farm broke my right elbow and construction damaged a muscle in my chest.
Manufacturing made me work smart and I had a sharp eye and a careful hand.

I am thankful that I can feel my spirit.
Many times I am alone but there is, something inside me that keeps me calm.
I can feel an inner peace.

Dad rested in his easy chair in the living room.
Dad’s eyes were closed and his cat was asleep in his lap.
Dad had been ill and I said, “Dad wake up.”
I rocked the easy chair and I said ”Dad.” The cat panicked and jumped, but Dad didn’t wake up.
Dad’s skin color looked like gold colored beach sand
and his spirit left him and went to heaven.

It is nice to be outside in the summertime.
I enjoy working in the garden and picking sweet corn and tomatoes.
My blueberry bushes live down at the pond and I cultivate them for my niece.
I love it when my niece eats the blueberries from my blueberry patch and she tells me, “Your blueberries are better than the ones from the grocery store.”

Autumn air is clean and cool.
People get busy again and children return to school.
I love my parents but I don’t always enjoy them.
Life is very beautiful but sometimes I don’t enjoy it.

We live in southern New England and snow on Thanksgiving Day is uncommon.
I love looking out the kitchen window and watching it snow on Thanksgiving Day.
What is the difference between love and enjoyment?

How do you wish to be remembered?

The last time I saw Sister, my brother and me were helping Sister clean out her apartment so she could go to Florida with Mom. At that time Sister was in her forties and she looked like a skeleton and she used a walker to get around.
Mom seemed like a woman possessed and for nearly a year Mom said repeatedly,
”Gotta get her down there! Gotta get her down there! If I can get her to Florida I can save her life!”
Mom got Sister to Florida but the doctors in Florida took Sister’s drivers license away.
Sister didn’t like the Florida doctors so she returned to New England.
Sister was filled with pain and she ate too much of her medication and she fell asleep in her bed.
Mom said the death certificate said suicide.
Sister’s death greatly affected Mom and nowadays Mom was unable to read a long distance telephone bill.
Months ago I spoke with the Funeral Directors and they said that Welfare denied the claim due to Sister’s assets.
I told the Funeral Directors that I would pay Sister’s funeral account.
It was Friday evening and I had two beers at the bar.
I went home to the farm and I read an opened letter on the kitchen table.
The opened letter was from the Funeral Directors and I knew the letter would come but I just didn’t want to deal with it.
Mom was upstairs packing her bags for Florida.
Mom called me from upstairs and she asked,” Did you read the letter on the kitchen table?”
I said to Mom that I had read the letter from the Funeral Directors and I would handle it.
I told Mom that I was going to work in the morning.
Mom said,” But tomorrow is Saturday?”
Last Monday was Labor Day and I had the day off without pay.
Management would let me go in on Saturday to make up time.
I told Mom that I would be okay and I would call her tomorrow.
I got to work by daybreak on Saturday and I did some simple stuff.
The manager signed my time card and I left work a little early and
I went to a mailbox and I sent the Funeral Directors some money.
I got home and I went to the vegetable garden and I began picking tomatoes.
Throughout her lifetime, Sister had emotional, psychological and physical challenges.
When we were children I would pick on Sister and make her cry and she would run to her room to hide.
I wish my sister were here with me so I could say, “I’m sorry.”

Do you have anything else to share?

My blueberry patch is a place where I can go to think and
to feel.
Do you have a blueberry patch too?

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