A 20th Century Bridge: Selected Memories of a Family Named Foley
A 20th Century Bridge opens with the Industrial Revolution underway. The majority of our citizens are illiterate and telegraphers will soon lose their jobs to telephone operators. The reader is taken on a journey with transportation by steam locomotive and “hoss cars” at the outset. These give way to a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, an open cockpit biplane and a FedEx Airbus shuttling the world. Early on you learn Major Foley, the author’s father, shaped history during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Along the way you witness a frontier wedding at the gateway to the Klondike, the life-saving mission of an Alaskan bush pilot, a computer/telecommunications pioneer at work in Silicon Valley, Triathlon competition on a Caribbean island, a seven foot snowfall high in the Sierras and a goat herd in Maine saving lives. Four Irish Americans named Cooling, Coakley, Minahan and Foley formed a new gene pool almost 100 years ago. Their offspring, and children born of new matrimonial threads, have woven a rich, diverse, and continually growing fabric of common heritage among relatives named Allyn, Bosies, Conroy, Davidson, Estey, Foley, Grier, Halpin, Hopkins, Kohut, Maloney, Marchesi, Reilly, Rivet, Robinson, Sandefur, Sotire, Terhune, Tisdale and VanDyke. This memoir offers each and all an intimate glimpse of ancestral and contemporary personalities, lifetime experiences, and the cultural forces at work throughout the previous century.