Sadie Puri

I have decided to post a section of an email that Sadie sent me some time ago. A lot of you may have read the email but I think it's worth posting again as it gives a very good idea of Sadie and where she came from. ??"I found out about your website from an old friend, Teresa Doherty, who lives in Ballyarnett. My brother, Ben, has already contacted you.Our family, the Clingains, was one of the first squatters. We had been living at 89 Bogside in one room rented from LIzzie McDermott. Our next door neighbor, Hughie McIntyre, "flitted" us in his donkey and cart. The family: mammy, granny, Ruby, Benny, and myself, Sadie, walked in a solemn procession up the Bog, past Francis Street and out the Northland Road.?I was 16 and not at all happy to leave the place I had known. On the day after we moved, I came home from work and granny was making mince, potatoes and gravy on a brazier outside the hut. I began to cry. I don't think they understood why or, if they did, they didn't say. ?But we adjusted quickly. The camp got filled from the Northland Rd. end. As more people arrived, they went further into the middle.of the camp. When the huts were renovated, we were moved to the Buncrana Road end. 228 Springtown Camp. was my address until I was twenty.?Our neighbor to the right was the McCourt family. Mrs. McCourt was a beautiful woman with red hair. The McCourts were very quiet and had a large family. On the north side, and slightly elevated, the Sheehans lived. To the west was the Boyle family. We knew Bridget Boyle before we went to Springtown. I don't think this was unusual.?I worked at the City Factory where I met Mary Lynch. The family of Mary Lynch, who later won the Grand National, lived at the camp. Mary lived with an aunt and uncle in Philip Street. They felt it was a better address. Mr. Lynch was well known for keeping and racing greyhounds. After Mary won the money, she was sent to an exclusive boarding school. The family moved to Dublin and I lost touch. She was the person who took me to see my first movie, How Green was my Valley and I couldn't follow it as the convention was foreign to me.?There was a certain attitude toward Springtown residents. We were certainly not considered to be top drawer. I later found that same attitude about Creggan where we got a house around 1953.

 

When I asked Sadie what she is doing at the moment, this is what she said.?"I spend most of my time these days working with people who aflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.I do battle with the State House in Columbus, the Municipal School District, as well as other bureaucrats, and elected officials who would breathe a sigh of relief if i disappeared into the middle of Lake Erie. Fortunately, this is America and there's not a chance of that.? When I'm not doing that" says Sadie." I feed Satinder, the cats, and clean up after them. Although I'm a feminist, I actually like housework.  I always have. It keeps me anchored.?We have five cats,"she says, "all strays:  Willie, is named for Wee Willie Carson, Oonagh, for his wife Oonagh, Tess for Teresa Doherty, and Riley, and Maisie. Oonagh and Teresa think I have taken leave of my senses.  They could be right but they tolerate me anyway".?Sadie