My Irish Eyes are Smiling and Crying, too: A Reflection on the Grandfather I Never Knew

In the wake of the Republic of Ireland voting more than 3 to 5 to legalize same-sex marriage, I have been thinking a lot about the Irish grandfather I never knew: Franklin Marion Sullivan. Actually, Frank was only half Irish. His dad, Frank David Sullivan, worked sporadically on the riverboats of the Ohio. He managed to sire five children by Carolina Buertel in his occasional stays with her on Pleasant Ridge in Washington County. After their fifth child, Frank D went off and did not return. Carolina was sick with cancer, and died when my grandfather was five. It is only in the last year or two that I have discovered that Frank D very likely had a second wife in Cincinnati, Ohio, and left Carolina for her.

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