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Tony Grist

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In Brackets [Jul. 28th, 2005|10:20 am]
Tony Grist
I was just out of school and waiting to go up to uni and I took a job in a Sheffield hospital working with paraplegics.

It's a part of my life that has brackets round it. There's little connection with anything else before or since.

I'm listening to Billie Holliday and that's what brings it back. It was my Sheffield landlady who got me hooked on Billie Holliday.

Her name was Maureen Tingle. She was a young widow. Irish. With bright red hair.

I was too young for her and she was too old for me. It never crossed our minds.

She had the sight. The Virgin Mary appeared to her just before her husband died to prepare her for it.

The Virgin was very little and appeared in a vessel of light. I'm not sure it was the Virgin. I think it was more probably the Banshee.

He dropped dead suddenly in the kitchen doorway. I wish you hadn't told me that, Maureen! There I was cooking my egg and chips in the evening- all alone in the house- and I had to keep glancing over my shoulder to make sure he wasn't standing behind me.

She was very lonely. She was very highly strung. I liked her as one would like- what- a crazy aunt.

But now I think of her as younger than me.

[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-07-28 04:42 am (UTC)
Lucky Maureen Tingle (wonderful name, right up there with Bunny, Gent.) to have never aged in somebody's mind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 04:47 am (UTC)
It is a good name.

If she's still alive she'd be in her 80s.

I just googled her. No luck.
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[User Picture]From: shullie
2005-07-28 04:50 am (UTC)
OOooooo well as a Sheffielder born and bred and still here..... Where abouts were you/she living etc., as I could make some enquires for you if you wish>?

Though wont be till next week or so as I am away for a few days

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 05:39 am (UTC)
Thank you for the offer. yes, I'd love to contact her. She lived in the Lodge Moor area. I don't remember the address.

I last saw her in 1970. It's quite possible she remarried.

She had a son called Sean and a daughter called Patsy.

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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-07-28 05:06 am (UTC)
My grandmother (well, the woman I knew as my grandmother, anyway) was a strange combination of Irish - with bright red hair when she was young (by time I knew her it was white) and French Canadian. She didn't see the Virgin (because she was NOT Catholic, Catholics were horrible people and they ate babies...) but she did have the Sight according to her. And she believed in ghosts, she 'saw' her dead relations all the time.

Your recollection of Maureen Tingle - who has to have the neatest name I've ever heard - suddenly brought a picture of my grandmother Bertha Violet (Garrison) to my mind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 05:57 am (UTC)
I wonder what it's like to see dead people all the time?

I knew a guy who was training for the priesthood who saw spirits everywhere. They were such a normal part of his life that he normally disregarded them.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-07-28 07:39 am (UTC)
In Suffolk it was believed that any one born in the chime hours (either 12, 3, 6 am or pm or 12, 4 and 8 am or pm) had the sight, Midnight especially. I was born at 9 pm though and I don't!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 12:23 pm (UTC)
I wish I had the sight.

I'm fascinated by the supernatural- and I've never seen a goddam thing.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-07-28 02:15 pm (UTC)
I get irritated by people who deny it just because they cannot see it. I am slightly sceptical about a lot of claims but as I beleive there is something out there so I am sure there must be some genuine visionaries.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-07-28 09:14 am (UTC)
There you go: a complete short story perfect for The New Yorker.

You're good.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 12:27 pm (UTC)
The New Yorker?

I wouldn't presume....

Actually I'm a coward, afraid of rejection...
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-07-28 12:53 pm (UTC)
That's exactly why I never finish anything.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-28 12:26 pm (UTC)
It would be good to see her again.

Are you out there still, Maureen?
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