What do you see out of your window today?

The Color Green

A story by Bob Grady



My ancestors are mostly Irish. The color green seems to be associated with Ireland-especially around St. Paddy’s Day when everybody wears green. So why did my aunts hate the color green? They always associated it with bad luck. I made fun of their superstition many times. In fact, I researched possible reasons for it. One possible explanation that might explain it was that people who slept in green-painted bedrooms during the early 1900’s seemed to get sick more often than others. It was determined after some research that green paint was made of arsenic and as the paint aged and deteriorated, the tiny particles would be found in the air they breathed. The aunts listened but then they told me the story of my uncle, Francis, who was nicknamed Tiny, because he was the youngest. It seems my grandmother took him one Saturday night to get a new suit. Lighting being what it was in stores of that era, it wasn’t until the next day in the sunlight that she realized that the suit had a tinge of green in it. However, it was bought and paid for, so no bringing it back. Tiny was riding his bike while wearing that suit later. He came down Piedmont Street to South Main where he was struck by a car and killed. I tried to reason with them about the coincidental connection but to no avail. The color green remained the culprit. Ironically, when I crashed my airplane some years later, I was wearing my favorite green shirt. Of course, there is no connection - is there?

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  Waterbury, CT
Jan 01 1970


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