Grandpa Edward Anthony, known for his loving, gentle, kind-hearted, loyal, and caring personality, is truly a great man with a long list of stories to tell. He recently hit the bright old age of ninety, and is healthy and happy. When asking how it felt to be ninety years old his response was “You know Kate, I’m not sure where the time went”. Time sure does seem to fly by, and with 90 years up his sleeve, my grandpa was happy to share his many stories, and experiences in hopes to provide insight to what life was like for him while growing up. Similar to most, his life was full of joy and sorrow, hardship and triumphs, hellos and goodbyes; what matters most is the ability to take the good with the bad, be positive and continue to pursue life.
My Grandpa’s life began in Piltown, Ireland in 1923. He was one of seven children, he had four brothers, John, Joe, Christy and James, and two sisters, Maureen and Betty. Grandpa Anthony had an enjoyable childhood, filled with playing games, learning instruments, and spending time with both his family and friends. He was especially fond of the game “hurling”. He and his friends would commonly play hurling, with ten players on each side, at a place called “The Butcher’s Field” which was located behind an auto repair shop called Foils garage. He also enjoyed playing soccer, however, did not begin until he reached his early twenties; his brother Joe started a soccer league in Waterford. Also in Waterford, my Grandpa took violin lessons from a tailor who lived across the street from him, by the name of Morris Leary. Between the ages of fifteen and sixteen, he and a friend named Billy Grace would play the drums at the old church in their town; according to Grandpa Anthony, he was “not great, but I kept the beat”.
The Anthony’s Inn was a family owned business that my grandpa and his siblings worked at during their younger years. However, the problem with the pub was that there was “plenty of work to go around if everyone pulled their weight, but James and Christy looked into the bottle too much, and there’s no profit that way. It’s too bad the Irish are known for drinking, it’s not a very good policy to be following.” At one point, my grandpa’s father saw his son, John- my grandpa’s oldest brother, drinking and threw him out of the house and never spoke to him again. Unfortunately, John was probably the best guy to have around the pub; a hard worker, and was not a drunk like James and Christy.
After being fed up with bar keeping and the constant drunkenness of his brothers, my grandpa decided to join the English Air force in 1943 at age twenty, leaving without telling anyone but his friend Billy Grace. He remembers sailing into...