O’Connells – “Eight Rs”

 

(NOTE: written in the summer of 1952)

“I am the luckiest man in the world! A home of my own, an understanding and co-operative wife, eight healthy children, an automobile, money in the bank and a job I like – thanks to The Almighty God, and America – what more could a man ask for!”

This is Patrick Neil O’Connell,(Pat) 36-year-old steelworker of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, talking.

As for “Pat’s” statement that he is “lucky,” we do not entirely agree. Pat is a hard worker and many so-called luck that the good Dame Fortune bestows upon him is her reward for his alertness and conscientiousness while on the job and at home with his big family.

dress-up

Ray 15, Rita 14, Richard 13, Roseanne 12, Regis, 10, Ruth 8, Roberta 3 and Ronald 1

How do Pat and Dorothy O’Connell  provide for their family of eight children:pat-and-dot four boys and four girls ? Do the children help their parents and each other? What is the future for this family of ten?

 

 

 

Pat is one of 12,000 employees of the Pittsburgh Works Division of Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation. J&L is America’s fourth-largest independent steel producer and employs 45,000 people in its far-flung operations across the nation. The firm is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.

j-l-steel-mill2

Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp

The Pittsburgh plant, where Pat earns his livelihood, is located on the north and south shores of the Monongahela River, just a few miles above the metropolitan city’s famous “Point”.

hard-hat Pat has been a J&L’er for 16 years. He joined the company in June 1937 as an employee of the Continuation Strip-Sheet Mill. Pat had worked on the construction of this mill as a carpenter for an outside firm. His first job at J&L was that of the feeder in Cold Mill Inspection Department. In a few months he was transferred to the Cold Mill Finishing Department as a Feeder on a Temper Mill, a type of rolling mill used for tempering or hardening cold steel. In 1939, Pat was moved up as a catcher on this mill and, in February 1944 he was promoted to the Temper Mill roller, his present capacity.

Pat and his wife, the former Miss Dorothy Griffin of Pittsburgh, were married in the Epiphany Church of the Roman Catholic faith. Theirs had been a high school romance. They first met while they were seniors at Schenley High School, a tuition-free school maintained through public funds.

Pat and his girlfriend graduated in the top of their Class, June – 1936, and were married in less than a year later, March 31, 1937. About their courtship, Dorothy said: “We swept each other off our feet!”

Pat and Dorothy are both of Irish descent. They were born and raised in Pittsburgh – Pat in the Oakland district and Dorothy in the Lawrenceville district. (The distance between the two sections of town is approximately 4 miles.)

Pat came from a family of six boys and three girls. His father, John F O’Connell, is employed by the Pittsburgh Railways Company. In his 40 years of service, Mr. O’Connell has been employed as a motorman, an inspector, a district supervisor and a dispatcher, his present position.

jf-fmaily

John & Mary O’Connell Family

griffin-family

Tom & Clara Griffin Family

Dorothy is the oldest of five girls in her family. Her father, Thomas L. Griffin, is half owner in the Fletcher–Griffin Service Station (gasoline and oil) located in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty district.

Pat and Dorothy are a beautiful couple in appearance and manner. Most people register astonishment when informed the O’Connells are parents of eight children.

mom1

Dorothy Griffin O’Connell

Dorothy now 34, is the petite type. For a mother of eight, she has as trim a figure as many teen-age might envy. Her complexion is clear and soft and her brown eyes are constantly  a-twinkle. Her step is as jaunty as any schoolgirl’s. She is quite often taken as the sister of her 15-year-old son, Raymond.

Likewise, Pat carries his 36 years well. A neat and clean-looking man on and off the job, he stands 5′ 8″ and tips the scale at 190 pounds. His well-developed shoulders and barrel-type chest are the results of his work as a carpenter and as a feeder and catcher in the mill. His speech is typical American. Pat chooses his words well, appearing to think out each word before speaking. His Irish eyes of blue reflect kindness, patience, and quick understanding – they indicate that Pat O’Connell has many friends.

Since his high school days, Pat has bolstered his education by taking advantage of the Extension Training Courses offered free of charge by J&L to qualified employees. In these extra-curricular classes Pat has studied Metallurgy (two courses) and Pre-Foremanship and Production Supervisor (two courses). The latter were offered under a Defense Course Program were free to all industrial workers in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

coil-steel  Metallurgy is Pat’s favorite topic of study. He keeps abreast of any advancements in the subject through his membership in the American Iron and Steel Engineers by attending meetings sponsored by J&L Metallurgical and Jalmet Clubs.

Pat is a staunch supporter of Unions. He served as shop steward at the Local No. 1843, CIO United Steelworkers of America for four years, 1938 through 1941. Since his stewardship, he has served his union during emergencies and in social programs.

Of all the organizations to which he belongs, Pat likes and probably receives the most satisfaction from his activities in the St. Vincent De Paul Society. This organization was started in France in 1833. Its work in this country is carried on by pastors of various churches. The distribution of baskets of food and money to  needy families and handicapped people are made possible through donations to the “poor boxes” generally located at church entrances. “Visiting the sick and destitute, acting as pallbearers for the friendless, and otherwise helping others who need the help serves to remind me that life can be pretty grim for those who are not so fortunate as I,” says Pat.

It was just three months after the O’Connells newlyweds went housekeeping that Pat, deciding to cast his lot in the steel industry, joined the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation.

During the following six years the couple was blessed with five children, Raymond, Rita, Richard, Roseanne, and Regis, in that order. The couple had started out in a two bedroom house and the rapid growth of their family necessitated the O’Connells moving to larger residences five times.

In 1940 they had moved in with Dorothy’s grandfather, the late James Griffin, after the death of grandmother Griffin. “In 1943, with the help of Dorothy’s grandfather, we accumulated enough money to purchase our present home,” Pat said.

5-buffalo-st

5 Buffalo St., Pittsburgh, PA

On May 1, 1945, the O’Connells finally moved into their three-story red brick house at 5 Buffalo Street, Oakland district, in the shadow of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. The price of the house was $10,000 and was paid for with cash. No mortgages for the O’Connells to fret about.

During the first four years of ownership, the O’Connells spent almost $4,000 remodeling their home. This included a new, modern kitchen; a gas-fired, air-conditioned furnace; inlaid linoleum through-out the house; a dining room window of modern glass blocks; storm windows and a cement retaining wall in the back yard. This was partly financed by renting the house-to a tenant for two years prior to moving in.

When Pat started out in the mill, his daily rate of pay was $6. Today, Pat has a net income of $600 a month. He works 40 hours a week and is paid an hourly basis, plus an incentive pay for production.

Pat and his fellow employees work on the swing shift one week 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; one, 4 pm to midnight; and one, midnight to 8 am.” I can’t truthfully say I like this kind a working setup,” Pat said,” but it does keep harmony in the Mill with everyone getting a turn at his favorite shift.”

Six-hundred dollars a month is a plausible sum for Pat and Dorothy and their eight children, but it cost nearly $500 a month to keep this family hale, hearty, and happy.

The spending of such a sum each month may sound excessive as a whole, but divided among the ten individuals it amounts to $50 per person or $600 annually.

The O’Connells are by no means spendthrifts nor are they misers. Perhaps a run-down of how this American family exists will prove these facts. It may be worthy to note how this family of how ten manages to make a monthly budget of $500 suffice. You may even agree it is a remarkable feat.

a-and-p-2

Super Market Grocery Shopping

“Food is the costliest item on our budget,” Mrs. O’Connell said.” In one week we spend $30 for groceries and $15 for meat at the supermarket; $5 dollars for fresh vegetables at our favorite market house; and $20 for fresh eggs, milk, and butter delivered to the house.

Pat and I dread thinking what the cost of our food bill would be if we didn’t have modern refrigeration and, I might add with a round of applause, and our American supermarkets. The refrigerator is a boon to people with families like mine. How could I store the daily products and the fresh and frozen meat, produce, and fruit I have purchased each week. Without refrigeration in our house we couldn’t buy so much for so little and Pat and I and our older children would be continually on the run shopping for each day’s food.”

At the average rate of $70 a week for food what kind of meals can Mrs. O’Connell prepare to meet this daily cost of one dollar per person? Of course she varies her menu like most American home-makers.

“We buy seasonal fruits, vegetables, and meats.” Mrs. O’Connell said. “Pat and I, and even the older children, watch newspaper advertisements for good buys. When meat prices are high. I prepare plenty of fresh and frozen vegetables.

Hamburger is an old stand-by. We use it in meat cakes, meat loaf, and numerous casserole dishes. In the summer I put one or two teaspoons of chopped fresh mint into my meat cakes or loaf.”

Dorothy buys about three pounds of ground beef, shapes it into three inch circular cakes and piles them into her refrigerator’s freezers compartment, separating the cakes with double layers of wax paper. These are prepared for eating as she needs them.

Daddy O’Connell’s own favorite dessert is Irish cake.

“The children like it, too,” Dorothy said, “but Pat could eat it three to four times a week. Pat’s mother, Mary Mamie O’Connell, gave me the recipe shortly after our marriage.”

The following items cost the O’Connells and average total of $185 each month. These expenses are: home furnishings and modernization – $30; clothing – $30; utilities – $25; insurance – $20; medical – $20; transportation – $20; taxes – $20; and contributions and entertainment – $20.

refrigerator

Rita working in the Kitchen

The first item in this listing has been the costliest to the O’Connells over the past two years. The most recent purchase for the household includes an electric washing machine, an automatic clothes dryer, an electric sewing machine, and an 11–cubic–foot refrigerator. All furnishings are purchased with cash, saving the expense of carrying charges.

3er-floor-br

Ray, Richard and Regis in their bedroom

A patio was constructed in the backyard last spring. The attic, a front bedroom, and bathroom have been completely modernized. The big gas furnace was overhauled. Plumbing and re-wiring have taken place. Dozens in of cabinets and clothes racks have been built at vantage points throughout the eight-room house.

Pat’s experience as a carpenter and his versatility in the handling of all types of tools helped minimize the over-all costs of these household projects. His older sons helped too! Pat’s basement workshop boasts an electric saw, and every imaginable tool needed for building and general repair work.

sewing-patterern

Roseanne and mother

As in all large families, a great deal of wearing apparel is handed down or made over for the younger children. “My wife is second to none when it comes to operating our electric sewing machine,” Pat said. The costliest item on the O’Connell clothes budget is shoes.

Utility rates vary during the seasons. The O’Connells’ telephone bill is $4.80 a month. Electricity and gas rates run from a monthly cost of $30 during the winter and $10 in the warm months. The O’Connells cook with gas and heat their house with a gas-burning furnace.

Pat and Dorothy have life insurance on themselves and each of their children. Their home, furnishings, and automobile are coveraged by insurance. Pat is covered with comprehensive life and accident insurance at the mill.

Medical care includes hospital, doctor, and dental services. The O’Connells maintain hospitalization and medical-surgical policies, the latter including Pat’s coverage in the mill.

station-wagan

Family station wagon

The upkeep of the family station wagon and daily carfare for the children attending school come under transportation costs.

Taxes include income, school, county, water, and city per capita assessments, the latter for adults only.

Under contributions are church collections and donations to charitable organizations. The family’s annual vacation trip, an occasional movie and family picnic, and the children’s membership fees to the Young Men’s and Women’s Hebrew Association are carried under entertainment. The six oldest O’Connell youngsters belong to the YM&WHA, whose membership is open to all sects. The cost of the family television set, purchased over three years ago, has long been the erased from the O’Connell budget. “Our oldest son, Raymond, keep our TV set in tip top condition,” Pat said. “The cost of maintaining it is minor.”

kitchen-help

Regis, Rita and Ruth working in the kitchen

For such a large family as the O’Connells, one might assume there is plenty of confusion. This is not so. One may even suspect that the children are kept in line through strict regimentation. Neither is this so. Love, obedience, order, and respect are the basic ingredients of the successful formula Pat and Dorothy O’Connell have developed for raising their children.

Mother O’Connell first learn how the proper application of these words could maintain family harmony during a sermon in church. “I’ll never forget that sermon,” Mrs. O’Connell said. “It went like this: ‘Give your children sound religious education in their early years, insisting on love and obedience. One can’t have love in the home without respect, nor order without obedience. Without respect for other people, their rights and their property, you can’t have love. ‘Likewise, you must have obedience to have order and keep things running smoothly.

Parents must make the rules as reasonable as possible – but once made, must enforce them fully. Keeping the children busy, either with schoolwork, hobbies, or games, helps create harmony. Let the children find their own special interests and encourage those interests. It isn’t so important which career or field of endeavor your children select as long as they find happiness in their chosen work. Parents should point out to their children that much happiness and contentment in life comes from being of service to others.’ ”

Dorothy would be pleased if one of her children selected a religious vocation, but she will never request such a sacrifice. “Any religious career will come of their own free will,” she said.

Observing their three oldest children, Raymond, Rita, Richard – the O’Connells think that each of them has already made up his mind as to what he wants to be. ”Raymond leans toward things electrical,” Pat said. “He has shown deep interest in radio, television, and electricity. At his present age of 15, he aspires to be an electrical technician.

Rita, who was 14 on the last December 1, is set on being a nurse. She has, I might say, all the necessary qualifications to make nursing her life’s work. Richard, now 13, would like to be a doctor. Unless a very radical change comes over the boy, he will be one!”

Mr. and Mrs. O’Connell intend to help their children all they can if their offspring go to college or pursue any other higher learning, but the children know already that they will have to work for this privilege. The parents feel this will make any higher education all the more valuable. Witness the joint bank account of more than $500 that Ray and Dick have built up for the purpose with the money earned on their daily paper routes.

The roles of the O’Connell children are playing in maintaining economic balance in their family are important and worthy of comment. The fact that the older children are becoming less and less of a financial burden to their parents cannot be overlooked. ‘With the continued help of the children, our family is headed for an economically sound future,” Pat said.

bh-pic-book

Reviewing the “Book”

A grey and somewhat-tattered 6″ x 3″ ledger, appropriately called “The Book” by the O’Connell children, has put the youngsters on the road to financial success early in life. The total of its “put and take” (deposit and withdrawal) amount since it’s origin in 1950 would be a sizeable sum.

Relating how The Book came about, Pat said: “From time to time the children received various sums of money because of birthdays, Christmas, good report cards, errands, household duties, etc. so in November, 1950, we decided to make a kind of bank with deposits and withdrawals for each child being entered in The Book. At the start we had seven children with a total sum of $22.34, ranging from $12.80 Ray to $.78 per Regis.”

The children earn money baby-sitting (minding younger children of their neighbors), selling newspapers, washing automobiles, performing special household tasks, and helping their younger sisters and brothers with their school lessons and their homework. The youngsters receive money for good report cards, also.

Withdrawals from The Book are made for Christmas and birthday gifts, movies, roller, and ice-skating, and sports equipment such as swim suits and baseball gloves, bats, and balls.

“You very seldom see any items that children have brought for themselves tossed carelessly around the house,” Pat said. “They have learned to care for what they earn, to take care of any items Dorothy and I have brought for them, and, most of all, to respect the property of others. When one of our youngsters loses or destroys the property of another, he or she is penalized by replacing the item with funds from his or her account in The Book.”

papers

Regis, Richard and Ray completing their newspaper sales at the hospitals

Ray and Richard buy their own clothes and take care of all their expenses from their accounts in The Book. They net $16 a week from their newspaper route.

The boys sell an average of 200 newspapers each week-day morning. They deliver 50 to their regular route customers and sell 150 to patients in the three hospitals that make up The Pitt Medical Center – the Presbyterian Hospital, the Woman’s Hospital, and the Eye and Ear Hospital.

Out of their weekly newspaper profits the boys deposit six dollars each in The Book and two dollars each in a joint savings bank account operated by their newspaper employer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The boys earn 4% interest on their Post-Gazette savings now totaling more than $500. When their younger brother, 10-year-old Regis, substitutes for one of them on the newspaper route, he is paid accordingly. The handsome tips the brothers received at Christmas time from their newspaper customers are divided and deposited to their individual counts in The Book.

Ray, Rita, and Richard own bicycles, paid for with their own funds. Ray obtained his through his newspaper profits, while Rita earned the money to buy hers by taking care of the house while her mother was in the hospital. How Richard brought his bicycle is a tale of determination and perseverance.

When Richard reached his 12th birthday, December 19, 1951, he was given permission to own a bicycle – but, it had to be purchased with his own money.

bike

Richard’s bicycle

The bicycle of Richard’s choice carried the price tag of $50. His account in The Book showed a balance of $8.97, so the lad went to his father to borrow the required balance.

His father lent the money to his son with one stipulation – Richard must pay back the full amount borrowed within two months or the lad would have to pay 4% interest on any balance until the debt was paid in full. The date of this father–son contract was January 13.

The boy bought his bicycle! On January 29, he started selling newspapers and doing odd jobs.” When March 13 came, Richard was short $3.50,” Pat said, “but nine days later he made his final payment. How could I stick to our contract? The boy really hustled! You can bet that nothing will ever happen to that bicycle.”

A thrill of a lifetime was shared by the O’Connell parents recently. Last May the family station wagon was involved in an automobile wreck. The price of repairing the car was $277. All this amount except $50 was paid for by the insurance company with whom Pat had his car coverage. When the children heard of this they volunteered to pitch in and pay the $50 balance with the money from their respective accounts in The Book. “Pat and I politely refused their help,” Dorothy said, “but what a beautiful gesture it was!”

At various intervals, Ray, Richard, and Rita have purchased United States Defense Bonds with their own savings. “My dad buys a $25 on every payday at the price of $18.75,” Rita said. “When I learned that those bonds would be worth $25 in cash in 10 years from their date of the purchase, I decided to buy one every so often when I had the money. Ray and Richard own a few also.” (Pat is paid every other week at the mill and has authorized his employer deduct the $18.75 out of his wages for a Defense Bond each pay.) The O’Connell children have received Defense Bonds as gifts at Christmas time and on birthdays.

For his more than 15 years’ continuous service at J&L, Pat gets a three-week vacation with pay. A highlight of their family life that always will be remembered is a vacation trip the O’Connells made to Beach Haven, New Jersey. Perhaps many people would hesitate to take seven children in an automobile to a destination 375 miles from their home, but the O’Connells found it could be done with a minimum of trouble.

Glancing at the pictures in the family album, taken during that memorable trip in August, 1951, Mrs. O’Connell said:

“A good solid breakfast before we started and a picnic-type lunch to fill in along the way solved the problem of food and gave us a chance to stop any place we cared to whenever the children became hungry or restless. We never rode for longer than two hours without stopping – then we stopped for 20 to 30 minutes.

The trip afforded the children their first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. They were thrilled by it! The five older children are all good swimmers, but found swimming in the ocean quite difficult than in the indoor, heated pools they were accustomed to. Within a few days, however, they were swimming to a sand bar about 100 yards out in the ocean. They were never permitted to swim alone nor along a stretch of beach that was not supervised by a life-guard.

They were fascinated by the boats which ranged from rowboats to yachts and spent much of their time on the docks asking the old-timers questions typically of a ’landlubbers’ family. Several times we rented a 22 foot, flat bottom fishing boat and Pat let each child take a turn piloting it.

New Jersey is known as the ‘Garden State’ and there was an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available at very reasonable prices during our stay. Corn, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, potatoes, peppers, peaches, cantaloupe, and cherries were among the plentiful. These, together with the numerous sea foods in the local fish markets, provided a variety of good meals without extravagance. Fillet of flounder was a special favorite of ours.

The six-room cottage we rented at $85 a week was only one year old and it contained an electric refrigerator, and elaborate bathroom, an outside shower, and an attractively furnished pine paneled living room.

ruth-and-roseanne

Ruth and Roseanne doing their daily chores

In the evening we all tried to do as many chores as possible, like preparing the food for the next day, etc., so we could spend as much time on the beach as possible during the daylight hours. From noon until two, when the sun was extremely hot, the younger children had their naps and the older children helped around the cottage. This prevented anyone from getting too much sun.

Beach Haven provided to be an ideal family resort, quiet and relaxing, with little else to do but swim, fish, and sail. Sometimes the children attended a movie in the evening or played a round of miniature golf. They never tired of visiting an old vessel that had been converted into a gift shop. They delighted in looking over some of the thousands of beautiful and unusual gifts for sale even though their purchases were chiefly confined to postcards and small souvenirs. Old Barnegat Lighthouse was another point of interest they visited quite frequently.

To let the children see for themselves the difference between small and large resorts we spent the day in Atlantic City, New Jersey, just 25 miles away from the cottage. There they saw the huge hotels and the miles of boardwalk, the spacious piers, and other amusements. They enjoyed seeing all this, but they decided that they preferred the island where they were staying.

On another day we made a trip up the coast of New Jersey to New York City. We started about seven in the morning and made the drive in about two hours. We parked our station wagon in a garage in New Jersey and took a ferry-boat across the harbor to New York City. All along the way children had been asking questions about the Statue of Liberty, so we decided to make it our first objective.

The boat ride out to Bedloe’s Island and trip to the top of the Statue, in a continuous line of people, took 2 1/2 hours. It was an experience Pat and I and the children will never forget. After that we took a taxi ride to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and to Radio City. Following lunch in the cafeteria and a look at the Empire State building, we descended into the subway. After a long ride, we emerged at 181st Street up in Bronx, where just across the street was the quaint chapel beneath whose alter lies the body of The Blessed Mother Cabrini – our most recently canonized American saint.

We viewed the body and spent a few quiet moments. It seemed difficult to realize that this was part of such a busy city. Then back into the noisy Subway for a ride down to the Battery where we again boarded the ferry, just at rush-hour. Seeing again the Statue of Liberty and the receding skyline of the city probably was the most breathless and most wonderful look at New York City that anyone has ever had.”

Pointing to a vacation-time picture of Ruth, then six years old, Mrs. O’Connell recalled two incidents that took place during their visit in New York City. “One occurred when we missed Ruth,” she said,” we will retraced our steps and found her gazing down into the Plaza of Radio City, blissfully unconscious of the anxiety she had caused. The other incident took place when a cab driver refused to take all of us in one cab, saying there was a city law against so many in one cab even though our children were small. So Pat picked up the baby and we all closed ranks and paraded for five blocks, rather than going back into that confusing maze of Subways.”

Mrs O’Connell stated “many of our friends question the enjoyment we get out of these trips, but we like doing things as a family and if the children are pleased then we are pleased too. Roberta was only 22 months when we vacationed at Beach Haven but hardly a week goes by that she doesn’t mention the beach, the boats or the ‘blue, clear water. ’She will be four in September 20. We think that the memories make it all wonderful and far surpass any of the little inconveniences one may encounter on such a trip.

On other years we have taken shorter trips to Buffalo and Niagara Falls (both in New York State), with side trips to Canada. Our children are very interested in the history of their country and their state. They have been to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and visited its Independence Hall where America’s Declaration of Independence was signed and where rests the Liberty Bell.

This summer, if all goes well, we hope to vacation again at Beach Haven, with a side trip to our country’s capital, Washington, DC.”

Dorothy and her eight children are no strangers to the 45,000 J&L coworkers. Pat’s family was featured in the December, 1952, issue of MEN AND STEEL*, J&L’s employee magazine published since November, 1947. The article appeared in the form of a Christmas greeting and related in four page spread how Pat and Dorothy make up their own Christmas cards. Photographs used on the greetings over the past eight years were reproduced, showing the growth of the O’Connell family since 1942. The story was picked up and featured by one of the city’s three daily newspapers, the Pittsburgh Press.

The MEN AND STEEL article also related that the photographs were the handiwork of Pat and that the verses accompanying them where composed by Dorothy.

dark-room

Pat and Dorothy photograph hobby

Pat O’Connell has an eight-foot-square darkroom in his basement that would be the envy of any amateur photographer. His photographic equipment lacks nothing. Since 1942, Pat has spent countless hours in his darkroom recording the growth of his family with pictures.

 

Pat shares his hobby with Dorothy, who is quite adept with a camera and in making prints. Of all their children, Richard is the only one currently showing interest in photography. “So far Richard appears to have a natural flair for picture-taking,” Pat said. “I hope some of the other youngsters take to the hobby”.

Dorothy, who laughingly calls herself “a frustrated writer,” has received many compliments for the verses she composed for the family Christmas cards. Her friends and neighbors respect her poetic talent – she has written several of the verses for birthdays and wedding announcements for them. Many of Dorothy’s poems were sent to American Servicemen during World War II by neighborhood mothers and wives.

Six of the O’Connell children attend school. Raymond is a freshman at Schenley High School where his parents graduated 1936. Rita will enter Schenley High next September. She graduated from St. Paul’s Cathedral, a parochial grade school, on June 12. The other four children attend St. Paul’s and have successfully passed into the following grades which they will enter next semester; Richard to eighth grade: Roseanne, seventh: Regis, fifth: and Ruth, fourth. Roberta and Ronald are scheduled to receive their elementary education at St. Paul’s.

Pat O’Connell can be justifiably proud of the fact that his five oldest youngsters are excellent swimmers. “Thanks to their training at the ‘Y’, Ray, Rita, Richard, Roseanne, and Regis are almost ‘at home’ in the water,” Pat said. “Little Ruth is still in the beginner’s class, but according to her instructors she’s improving with each lesson.”

In the annual winter swimming meet sponsored by the “Y”, the O’Connell children won a total of seven ribbons for scoring in six events. Recently, Regis, the youngest member of the Midget swimming team, completed a mile in the indoor pool in 42 minutes and five seconds. “Little Roberta and Ronald will be swimming someday, you can bet on that,” the ten-year-old Regis said.

The future plans of Pat and Dorothy are well defined in this spontaneous statement by Mrs. O’Connell:

“Our chief concern is to get the children started on the right path to a future happy life and we will continue doing everything possible to keep them headed in that direction. However, when they are older and our responsibilities lessen somewhat, we are hoping that we will have the time and circumstances to travel. There is much of America that we haven’t seen as yet, and we would love to visit Europe, too!”

Perhaps the O’Connells are better off today in many ways more than the so-called average American family. But, Pat and Dorothy and their eight children have worked hard and harmoniously for their excellent family status. Their conservative desires backed by their limitless capabilities (as shown) have made them successful.

28-grass-hill There is no secret to the success! Simply, the O’Connells have taken advantage of, and applied, the opportunities available to all living under the greatest democracy of all time – United States of America.

If the good Dame Fortune could talk, this is what she might say to Patrick N. O’Connell: “Yes, you are a lucky fellow, Pat; you and your family are Americans!” When asked if this methodical lady of luck actually ever spoke to him, Pat smiled and replied; “Could be!”

NOTE: The information used to product this story was obtained from a draft document written in 1952 by a Mr. Wynn a J&L Steel Corp. PR Dept. for a Mr. Boubat of Realites Magazine, Paris France.

Although the story talks about the “Eight Rs” in 1952, there were 4 additional “Rs” added to the family up through 1957. Thus the current Patrick and Dorothy O’Connell family are referred as the “12 Rs”.




%d bloggers like this: