Finally, My Day Has Come
By Patrick F. Cannon
I greeted the news that the Boy Scouts of America had decided to admit girls to their rolls with unalloyed joy. Now at last I would have hope that one of my long cherished dreams might come true – and all without having to undergo sexual reassignment treatment or that final frontier, surgery.
Perhaps a little background might be helpful. Many years ago, my sainted grandmother Donnelly (when did grannies stop being “sainted”?) told me that she was descended from Betsy Ross, she of the nimble fingers who had sewn the first Stars & Stripes. Granny was my mother’s mother, and her maiden name was Brown. Now, I happen to know where my father’s family came from – an island off the West coast of Ireland called Inishbofin (which is supposed to mean “Island of the White Cow” but that could just be a bit of Irish humor).
I have actually been to the island and the cemetery is full of Concannons (our real name) and Murrays, my fraternal grandmother’s name. (By the way, if you like sheep and rocks, Inishbofin is just the place for you). I know very little, however, of Granny Donnelly’s Irish ancestors. One of my aunts used to correspond with one of them in Ireland, and I recall it was in the North. Now, the name Brown is fairly common among the Scots, so it may be that there is some Scotch-Irish blood lurking in the family tree. As I recall, Ms. Ross was of that heritage. I suppose I could check it out, but it’s getting close to lunch time and one must rations ones time.
I take it as a given then that I’m descended from her. Sainted grandmothers do not lie, particularly those who went to Mass every day of their long lives. On my father’s side, by the way, I was told that the mighty kings of Ireland lurked somewhere in our family tree, but then most Irishmen make similar claims. What I’m actually getting at is this: if I’m related to the legendary seamstress Betsy Ross, then I have a claim to membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution! For how can they hold out against the inexorable tides of history when the Boy Scouts cannot?
As you know, virtually every former all male organization now (more or less) happily admits women. I worked for one of them for many years – the International Association of Lions Clubs – and they soon discovered that women could roar with the best of them, and bounced far fewer dues checks than did the men. Is it not now time for these seemingly exempt all female organizations to stop hiding behind their sex, and enter the brave new world of gender equality? (By the way, I haven’t bounced a check since 1965.)
After breaching the walls of that bastion of female WASP exclusivity, I may seek membership in the American Association of University Women and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (although the latter might exclude me on a technicality). I would, however, hesitate to seek affiliation with the Colonial Dames, as I’m told you are required to sing their official song – Their Ain’t Nothin’ Like a Dame – at every meeting.
Copyright 2017, Patrick F. Cannon