Growing up during the Great Depression, Philip had to contend with scarcity, hand-me-downs and a dearth of education options. His older brothers and sisters had all been "guided" into a convent or the priesthood. So how did Philip become a stalwart family man and neighborhood icon? Simply…he met Jean!
The first story in our collection covers almost forty years of Big Philip's colorful home life— his favorite hobbies, his foibles and the mini-obsessions that made him such a memorable character. Philip’s little recipes, his night job as a radio announcer, the board game "crimes" and his love for horse racing, golf and gardening all combine to paint the richly detailed portrait of a man we cannot help but grow to love. The stories/tributes that follow by Jane Franklin and Liza D Wolfe are equally entertaining, very personal glimpses into the life and times of their beloved parents.
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About the Author
Philip Jude McQuillan was born in 1954 in Michigan. He spent his early school years in Philadelphia, PA and Vineland, NJ. After a brief career in commercial shipping, he moved to Costa Rica and spent 20 years there raising a family, teaching English and Spanish in his free time. In 2001, he returned to the US with his second family, and eventually moved back to his hometown to spend time with his father in his waning years. A first-time author, Philip draws inspiration from his father Philip Louis McQuillan. He encourages everyone to write about someone they knew and loved. Having passed away, their stories are sacred memories. Please do not let them be forgotten. Whether you decide to author a book of your own, or choose to add a story to his book Grandfather's Uncle, your gain is the same— you will enrich your life and the lives of your family and friends.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a lovely idea! As I read the poignant stories told of the loved ones featured in the book, all kinds of thoughts sprang into my mind. I was thinking of stories I need to pen in honor of my dad, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even dear friends. I also think we should start this with our loved ones who are still with us. Then my mind began taking other leaps considering the possibilities with this. Scrap-booking is so popular, so why not make a memory book of a loved one or loved ones and give them as gifts. In fact, this is being done frequently to keep the mind that has started down the harsh road of Alzheimer’s Disease. These books could be given to other family members for Christmas and birthday gifts or to honor a remembered anniversary or whatever. If I have any criticisms at all about the book, it is the length which was a little daunting for me, but it wouldn't be for the person who was reading about his or her loved one. I also saw a couple of grammatical and spelling errors, but that is hard to avoid and happens sometimes even when you hire an objective editor. It happens all the time. When the book is really good and compelling reading, I can accept a couple of errors as long as they don’t distract from the overall nuance of the book. This was a clever, worthwhile project. The three contributors have differing writing styles and approaches. All of them write honestly, remembering the good and the bad about their loved ones. I can sense that all three loved their subjects. While in some cases, there were people with unpleasant issues, they were still loved and they were loved for their strengths. All three authors brought their loved ones to life and that was the point of the book. You felt like you knew them, too. I hope I take the inspiration I got from reading this wonderful book and use it for positively to memorialize some of the special people in my life. Passing down the genealogy of our family tree is important, but special memories of our loved ones are more important. It gives is a sense of belonging and understanding why we are the way we are.
Evidently Philip McQuillan's "Grandfather's Uncle" is an extremely well written memoir. It would be a marvelous read for others who, like me, are interested in their family tree and fond family memories. This writer enhances his story by bold-typing his father's favorite words and phrases and weaving them into the fabric of this tale, which to some extent highlights the elegant speech of a bygone era. This is an important and very personal aspect of his wonderful reminiscence. I also felt that his choice of book title — Grandfather’s Uncle — correctly focuses attention on the fleetingness of any kind of notoriety or fame in life, especially for those whose only "fame" has been being dearly loved by a small circle of family and friends. These are the people that the hypothetical grandfather’s uncle and author Philip McQuillan encourage surviving family members to memorialize in writing. Use of "grandfathers uncle" in the book title is merely a literary tactic to remind readers, who may think of themselves too as objects of scant literary interest, that it depends on them whether their beloved departed are meticulously remembered or not. The writer's memory lines can pin point the heart of matters; as far as his family details are concerned, while he may not remember what he had eaten for breakfast last morning, the essence of his father Big Philip is captured for all posterity to enjoy. Literally, as people hardly remember one's grandfather's uncle, all our relatives will soon become a distant memory — like dust they will b e swept away in the unseen wind of time. This book inspires me to write my family memoir, about which subject I had been procrastinating . Sufficiently encouraged, I realize that I should sit down and do just that. Reviewer: Mehreen Ahmed
This is a short book about the author's memories of his father. It is very stilted. The stories are random and the book lacked a cohesive flow. Nothing much seems to happen, as it is tales of a rather ordinary life of an ordinary man. I could tell the author loved his father very much and wrote this short bio, so his father's life would be rembered. It does make a nice family momento. As a tribute, it is a very wonderful gesture, but this should be a precious heirloom, not a public rendition. AD