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est. 2005
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Maureen O'Hara


My first job out of college was in the Chrysler Building in New York, 1983. As luck would have it, Annie, a neighbor and close friend of my mom, worked in the same building, for American Airlines. Annie was a great help in getting cheap airline tickets for me in those days before Expedia and Travelocity. I'd call her, tell her when I wanted to travel, go see her at lunchtime, pay her, and she would hand my tickets to me.

On one of those occasions, when I walked into her office, there was a striking woman, maybe 60, sitting at Annie's desk. Annie introduced the two of us—first names only—and excused herself to go to another room to print out my tickets. We struck up a conversation. Turned out she was there for the same reason I was: Annie was getting her tickets. 

Over the course of the conversation, I came to the unshakeable conclusion that I had met this woman before. When I mentioned this to her, she politely said, "No, I don't think so." I continued to press the attack: "Are you from Seaford? Are you a friend of my mom's?" All queries were met with a smile and a shake of the head. But I was determined to figure out where we'd met.

When Annie returned to the room a few minutes later (with a mischievous smile that I remember to this day), I told her I was SURE I'd met Maureen before. Where would that have happened? She walked up to me, smacked me in the back of the head, pointed, and said, "That's Maureen O'Hara, silly!" 

I turned and stared, and it hit me: Of COURSE it's Maureen O'Hara, you f$%king idiot. The red hair, the crazy green eyes, faint remnant of a brogue. And in that second I went from relaxed conversation to stammering embarrassment, with scenes from The Quiet Man and Miracle on 34th Street playing in my head. 

Annie reminded me that one of her responsibilities was making last-minute arrangements for the airline's VIP travelers, of which Maureen O'Hara was one. I apologized to Maureen for not recognizing her. She told me apologies weren't necessary, shook my hand, and told me it was lovely chatting with me. I took my tickets and headed back to my office shaking my head in disbelief. "Are you a friend of my mom's?" Jesus . . .

R.I.P., Maureen O'Hara. It was lovely chatting with you, too. Hope you're a long time in heaven before the devil knows you're gone.


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