Daily Courier ; Waterloo, Black Hawk, Iowa; June 12, 1947
Thomas Finn Heads Back for his Beloved Eire and Mayo
by Robert M.L. Johnson
Courier Staff Writer
It's an unhappy fact that these
paragraphs can't be put on paper with the true Irish brogue that is so
much a part of the main character of the story that will unravel itself
here, but such are the limitations of the written descriptions.
Thomas J. Finn is as Irish-speaking and appearing as
his name and Sunday marked the beginning of an air journey to the land of
the shamrocks and the good poteen.
Tom decided about two months ago to go back to the land
where he was born and his cousin made all the arrangements for him to fly
via the American airlines from New York to Shannon, Ireland.
It isn't Shannon that Tom is headed for, though,
because his home is in County Mayo, Ireland, near a small hamlet known as
That's where his five brothers and one sister live
today and it's going to be a real Irish reunion.
"You can bet I'll never look out of the windows
all the way over," Tom will tell you with that broad smile he has.
It's been a long time since Tom crossed the ocean to
get to New Castle, Neb., where his brother was living in 1909.
Tom was 22 then and full of vim, vigor and vitality.
He moved to North Dakota where he stayed for 17 years
before moving to Waterloo after the death of his wife.
The father of four sons and three daughters, who live
in Waterloo, Tom was an employe of the foundry department of the John
Deere Tractor Co. for 17 years after which he retired in 1946.
The retirement, which was not by choice, came as the
result of the removal of a blood clot from his brain. This operation put
Tom in bed for three months and he took a trip to Rochester, Minn., before
he was completely healed.
Vowing that he will stay only three months in his
native land, Tom assures everyone he will tell them the "God's honest
truth" about conditions over there, when he gets back.
Incidentally, when he does get back he is going into
business for himself across the street from his home at 212 Columbia
"Can't be idle and can't do heavy work," he
regretfully says, and Tom is obviously a man who likes to work.
This is Finn's second airplane flight and he is almost
sure he won't take up flying as a steady diet.
So, Ireland is going to be host to one of her sons when
Thomas J. Finn arrives a few hours after his departure from New York.