On Being a Rogers:

Ginger RogersMy mother’s name before she got married was Alice Rogers. I sometimes thought it would be nice if rather than taking our father’s surname we took our mother’s. I’d imagine at times my last name to be Rogers rather than Connolly. If that if that were the tradition I thought my cousin Roger would be known as Roger Rogers. That would be cool. It would be sort of like a friend I had growing up whose name was Thomas Tarmey. We called him Tommy. He also referred to himself as that. If you were from my neighborhood you’d know that in saying the name Tarmey the listener would hear “Tommy.” Tommy told us a story about getting a summer job. He was asked by a potential employer his first name. He responded Tommy. Then his last, and the employer heard “Tommy” He worked for that summer under the name “Tommy Tommy.” I often wondered about another friend, Jackie Thomas. I wondered if he wouldn’t have preferred to be called Thomas Thomas. He then could be Tommy Tommy too. One of the schools in our neighborhood was the Edward Everett. We called it the Eddie Eddie. I don’t remember if Tommy Tommy was attending  the Eddie Eddie at that time he got the job. You have to admit that growing up in America being a Rogers was something to be proud about. Think of the association with other people. I could have told my friends I was related to Roy Rogers. He was one of our heroes. Sure Gene Autry was around at the time but who knew the name of his horse or his girl. We all knew of Trigger and Dale Evans. Fortunately at that time there was no internet so I had no way of knowing Roy’s real name was Leonard Franklin Slye. One real Rogers though was William Penn Adair Rogers, known as Will Rogers. Unlike our present senator-who-would-be-president Elizabeth Warren, his parents both were part Cherokee. His father Clement was a Cherokee judge. Rogers County, Oklahoma is named after him. Will sometimes said that his folks didn’t come over on the Mayflower but they met the boat on its arrival. Rogers not being a Cherokee name it is likely Rogers was from Ireland. In the early 1800s Irish immigrants who came over as indentured servants escaped their employers, fled west and ended up marrying Native American women. It was noted: The prevalence of intermarriage was such that many political leaders of southern tribes were at least part Irish.”  The Irish may have suffered transportation to the American colonies as early as 1653.  Of course in my youth things like that were not part of my consideration. I assumed all of the Rogers came from County Mayo like my grandfather. When I went with my brothers to find his place of birth, Ballaghadereen, we were told we were in County Roscommon. It was not until I found that it originally was in Mayo, and was at the time my grandfather lived there, I was satisfied we were in the right place. There are still Rogers living there. ‘Twas there I bought some dillig which I was assured would last until I got home. That was a mistake. But I must mention the man who sold it to me was not a Rogers. My favorite Rogers was Ginger. Who wouldn’t like to think she was part of the extended family. Beautiful and talented, she made all of us Rogers proud. Only in the internet days did I realize her birth name was Virginia Katherine McMath. She became a Rogers when her mother remarried John Logan Rogers. Fred Roger, aka Mr. Rogers, came along much later. He also was a true Rogers. But by that time I was content to be a Connolly. It’s hard to figure out if my life would have been any different as a Rogers. I may have made up more stories about being related to Roy and Ginger. I would also have been able to quote some of Will Rogers’s clever sayings and refer to him as my cousin Will. Then again, if it were the mother’s name we used I’d never have been a Rogers because my mother would been named after her mother whose maiden name was Catherine Ring. If my last name were Ring I’d have no famous relatives except perhaps the Diamonds or Claddaghs. I guess I must be content with having told all the lads and ladies how I was related to the great Irish Patriot James Connolly. I guess it all worked out well in the end.

22 thoughts on “On Being a Rogers:

    1. Henry:

      Since I know you weren’t there because you needed something for around the house, and I hope you had no business with the undertaker, I assume you abided awhile in the remaining third business especially since the rain was in the air not that one needs a reason.
      ballaghaderreen is a nice place to be on a summer’s day.

    2. Henry:

      When we were in Ballaghaderreen there was store there with the name Rogers on it. I wish I had taken a picture of it. Going to the facebook site I see that store is named after my grandfather who was Patrick Rogers. It was nice seeing that sign. Thanks.

      1. Matt,
        At the end of your post,……….”Then again, if it were the mother’s name we used I’d never have been a Rogers because my mother would been named after her mother whose maiden name was Catherine Ring. If my last name were Ring I’d have no famous relatives except perhaps the Diamonds or Claddaghs.” I think you missed the possibility that you are related the “The Pipe”….James Ring, former SAC, Boston FBI. Are there any Fitzpatrick’s, Greenleaf’s, or Morris’ in the family tree? Maybe a Hoover? No disrespect, just making a good-natured observation and joke. PS. GO PATS1111111111111111

        1. Rather:

          You are correct. I did forget about the Pipe. If I had remembered him, I never would have mentioned there was a part of the family named Ring. As you know I believe him to be one of the worst FBI agents who ever walked the streets of Boston. He’s the one who got Naimovich indicted. He was in with Connolly more than anyone else. Why did you ever remind me. I’m going to have to go back through my ancestry and see if I can find that my grandmother Catherine Ring was really not a Ring. It has to be a mistake. Or, perhap Pipe had shortened his name from Ringling down to Ring. I’ve a lot of work ahead but I’m going to disassociate myself from him somehow.

  1. Roger that ! … An Andy Rooney whimsical could not have been better done … This is a nice piece of writing, as there is a freedom in it from the constraints of … all these wearying events … that so completely seem to occupy our attention in these … parlous times.

  2. Matt , I know you enjoy the Word as well a I do and as do your other contributors to this blog. ” Palimpsest ” is a word I particularly enjoy. It is a medieval sheepskin parchment that has been liberally writtten upon, industriously erased for purposes of economy so that it can be written upon , used again, and again, and again. Like rumours of impending battle that travel from the head of the marching column to soldiers at its end, what started at the front comes back in spectacularly unrecognizable versions. The soldiers at the front know the original, but as with a palimpsest a mass of blurred erasures makes reading the sheet music a discordant symphony. This metaphor, the palimpsest, I offer now in JB’s case. James Bulger and the truth of his deeds, however vile to his gangland rivals, is indeed a palimpsest. You have a new blogger, Dave, who like other of your bloggers writes clearly and recently expressed doubt that JB would assist Ditchman in murdering two women Ditch had every motivation and thrillkill personality feature to murder, circumspectly, and all by hisself”… My central theme in my writings to you has always been that JB would never have tampered with, in his case, a supremely highly evolved personality construct, AN EGO, that would never have participated in its own annihilation by participating with Flemmi in the annihilation of his young female victims. I noted your somewhat reflexive, and I mean that kindly Matt as you have invested great thought and are entitled to your view, response to Dave’s theory. Why wouldn’t JB blithely assist you basically posited. Well …. there are favors and then there are FAVORS aren’t there Counselor. I know which view of the Ditchman abominations I favor. You favor another. We leave ir there. The Appeal looms on the 14th. Everyone get your erasers ready. The palimpsest that is the Whitey Bulger story. My My My. 🙂

    1. John:

      Was it only a coincidence that the bodies of McIntyre and Barrett were buried next to Deborah Hussey? Do you think Whitey was surprised when Nee’s brother was selling the house and he had to remove the bodies from the basement that there were three bodies there?

  3. I am surprised that you did not mention Methuen, Massachusetts born Robert Rogers, leader of New Hampshire provincial militia unit Roger’s Rangers in the French and Indian War / Seven Years War. Rogers Island on the Hudson River in Fort Edward, New York was their base. Could that be because Robert Rogers fought as a Loyalist in the American Revolution, perhaps because the British met his financial demands of compensation while General George Washington did not?


    1. Ed:

      My uncles name was Robert Rogers so if I had known of the Methuen Rogers I certainly would have mentioned him even though he did belong to the other side. I might not have said nice things about him but I would not have ignored him. Thanks for the information.

  4. Matt :

    Let’s refer to the palimpsest. Were forensics ever done in that basement to determine if cadavers were ever buried there? A burial ground known to be within easy geographic reach and easily and discreetly accessed is passed on in favor of burying the most ultimately damning evidence of your homicidal mania, the very bodies, in your family basement? This rather than burying them right off at Neponset, as custom and practice and the most basic of common sense principles of self-preservation decrees? I like Pat Nee as an Irishman’s Irishman, but fair play to ya’ as they say in Dublin, who had the most to fear from John McIntyre ? JB had not much to worry about with John McIntyre ; Others a very great deal ! Your Prosecutor’s intellect and acumen has already pointed up the damning and incriminating disparities in the Weeks/Nee book versions of the John McIntyre murder, and you have Kevin Weeks placing Pat Nee in the house with a case of beer and no love for John McIntyre in his heart. Look Matt @@ … Wise owl that thee be … Does it really make sense that JB is going to render his arch enemy Pat Nee … A Pro … and an Irish Republican one at that … such a FAVOR … as to strangle John McIntyre with a length of boat rope ( such verisimilitude; the well crafted lying detail in a bogus account, that! ) after first enquiring with all the solicitude of a bad actor in a Cagney gangster parody whether the misfortunate man wanted one ” … in the back of the head? ” … Would Pat Nee so completely give a man , James Bulger, whom he reviled as the most manipulatively cunning rival underworld rival he knew, such leverage over him? … Would he want James Bulger to know that the ” Goods” or in this case the very bads, was buried in the family basement. This is Murder One with aggravating circumstances Counselor. But again, to the Palimpsest that is the Whitey Bulger ” Stories” we go!

    James Bulger was a front shooter not a back shooter. Johnny Martorano and the Italian hitters favored the back of the head/behind the ear method. Good luck to them. Even now Hank Brennan’s question … did you look Mr.Callahan in the eyes before you shot him? … and John Martorano’s squirming discomfiture at the question … suggest that we are not looking directly at the truth of what James Bulger was saddled with and what others, not he, actually did.

    Weeks and Nee in the sepulchral gloaming of .. the family basement … mopping sweat and exchanging dark premonitions of. … Who’s Next … as they disinterr a cadaver trifecta of Federal Embarassments as Daddy Crime takes one of his infamous post blood lust snoozes on the Nee living room couch I just do not buy. Kevin is one charming and clever bastard. He knows the power of a good hypnotic device in storytelling. I cannot figure out Barrett quite yet, but you need three out of three to win the trifecta and the tales of the deaths and burials on East Eighth of John McIntyre and Deborah Hussey … Stink. Oh Kevin can ramble on and reprise the role of Ray Liotta holding his nose as Goodfella’s actors Pesci and DeNiro open that car trunk and dance with lime and the devil in the pale moonlight all he wants. But common sense tells me that what sells tabloid mawkish tall tales and crime novellas and what is the grainy truth of difficult matters are very separate and distinct realities. Erasers anyone? 🙂

    1. JKM,
      Hello there,……..hope you are well. Just a question. What do you surmise Ditchman’s role was in the “Basement Chronicles” I mean your alternative answer to the commonly accepted version. He was there. You conspicuously omit him.
      I also submit the scenario makes perfect sense. Whitey had much to lose through the mouth of John McIntyre, obviously as much as Pat. He was the boss. I also don’t think Pat and Kevin (the epitome of the word Henchmen) had much of a choice as to what their roles were. Taking a nap upstairs was probably just a calculated veiled intimidation/control exercise on the part of our erstwhile, manipulative, evil, diabolical criminal (dare I say) genius (Director.)

  5. Rather :

    All Well and trust the same. My intuition is that there were no ” Basement Chronicles. ” I did not omit Benji as I doubt the commonly accepted version, so named, is true. John McIntyre had direct knowledge of the Valhalla arms shipments at the instigation of the redoubtable Pat. This is an academic exercise we all now engage in as Pat has a green teflon coated doublet on … stamped … Woven in the USA … and there is no desire to throw him under the London three decker bus here. The monolithic ” He was the Boss after all ” does not mean that serious characters like Flemmi … Nee…( notice I just gave Pat some separation from the degenerate benji there by suspending a comma) , and Weeksie Boyo were not capable of and did engage in independent thought and criminal action. They were not Whitey Bots. They were not innocent puppets or automatons. Dammee Rather … aren’t you as a worldly sceptic uncomfortable with all the characters, black deeds, suspect motivations, unlikely scenarios, gangster cliches and plain nonsense crammed into the … ” Basement Chronicles ” as you wittily put it?

    Insularity was JB’s Art. He is intensely private. He operates at a remove from a remove. This lurid stuff of the glittering eyed fiend tying sailors knots on strangulation boat ropes and flying monkey choke holds on girls he had no tangible motive or natural inclination to murder is … Sickening in the extent to which it illustrates the depraved imaginations and illuminates to any straight thinker the grotesque actions of the real perpetrators ! Let’s give the Devil his due.

    1. JKM,
      For the sake of argument:
      Who is the common thread in the three murders? Whitey.
      Who was the recognized boss and leader of the group (KW, SF, PN?) Whitey.
      Who had the power to force Nee to let the group use his brother’s house as a multi-murder “Haunty?” Whitey.
      Who had the power to force underlings to dig up bodies and move them. Whitey.
      McIntyre could implicate both Nee and Whitey. Had to go.
      Barrett was a shakedown gone too far. Had to go.
      Deb Hussey was embarrassing Whitey (in addition to Ditchman.) Had to go.
      I don’t know about fancy sailor knots and flying monkey choke holds, as I think the actual facts are a bit more prosaic, but to me it is obvious who was the pulling the strings.

  6. Rather :

    Exactly right … the facts no doubt … are more ” Prosaic .” My description of sailor knots and flying monkey choke holds deviates not much in embellishment from our Star Witness accounts of these murders. Our Omni-Villain is snarling in people’s ears offering a merciful back of the head bullet and torturing and strangling and in one account jumping on Deb Hussey’s back to choke hold her. This is a crafty operator who according to H.L. Carr lured one of the McGonagle’s to his death by employing the lure of counterfeit money and playing on the man’s avarice. Barrett took mob cash apparently in the Medford Depositor’s Trust burglary. Had to go! … By whose hand we have the testimony of compromised witness Weeks. Bucky Barrett had to go … Found in Neponset. Period …. Deb Hussey was too special a fetish for the warped Stevie for him to ever let anyone else complete the final desecration upon her. She threatened him powerfully and directly. Had to go! … Found at Neponset. Period …. John McIntyre could only jaw at Bergeron and the other Norfolk DA task force detectives about his speculations that Whitey was the King. MI-5 …Valhalla…IRA sympathies of Pat Nee
    .. Weeks’ revealing that McIntyre had a relationship with Nee, all indicate a Nee/John McIntyre direct hit. McIntyre was jammed on a Quincy home invasion by Bergeron and apparently talking to the Brits and the FBI. Had to go! … Found at Neponset
    . Period

    Turn the telescope around Rather.

  7. CODA :

    Pat Nee has never been nor ever will be anybody’s ” Henchman.” He is and remains a wily Boss in his own right and always by his own lights. He is extremely intelligent and more to his credit has the nobility of nature to be passionate and risk all for that Irish Republican Cause. He was Jimmy Bulger’s lifelong gangland nemesis. He leans on a shovel digging up other’s dirt and making wan and fearful speculations about his fate at the hands of another, for no man. Leastways when that man is James Bulger. They could break into a fight while standing in adjacent rooms. They hated each other. The Truth is indeed rather more prosaic than we have been led by our collective public nose to believe. I leave it lay there. Believe what you want. This is what I Believe.

  8. My father was a first generation American, his father having arrived from the province of Galacia Spain at the turn of the 19-20th century in New York City
    My dad was a longshoreman on the docks of New York City serving in the Merchant Marines during WW2. He mentioned we might have a small strain of Black Irish in us.
    I attended Peter Fanueil Grammar school on the backside of Beacon Hill on Joy street moving on to the William Blackstone in the West End
    My mom was also a 1st generation American.Her parents came over from Minsk in Bela Russia.

    Anybody heard when John Connolly will be sprung?
    In other news
    Meryl Mass MD is a friend who lives in Ellsworth Maine
    She had her Freeport Maine home burnt down by FBI agents
    after her groundbreaking work on the Anthrax Vaccine.

    Her research article exposed Rhodesia as the 1st country
    to use biological weapons against its own people in the 1980’s

    She is doing great work on the Ebola crisis

    must see
    Friday, August 8, 2014
    International Travel: 679 people per day enter the US from Nigeria/ NY Times
    According to the NYT, there are “243,000 international travelers to United States airports each day… including an average of 679 from Nigeria and 145 from the other three countries, (Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone) according to the C.D.C.”

    Some of you already know I helped shoot the historic gathering at the National Press Club in June 2002. where Kyle Hence had gathered a honor rolll list of speakers detailing the evidence for 911 being created by the US Government.After the event I introduced Kyle Hence to my friend Danny Schecter at Globalvison and the Media Channel.
    Kyle and Danny went on to produce 911 Press for Truth with Director Ray Nowielski.
    Danny interviews Ray today and you can listen here

    and herel


    1. MS:

      That was a hazardous job in the Merchant Marine. Always admired the courage of those guys who went out on the cold North Atlantic never knowing if they would come back. I beieve Joy Street was the location of the headquarters for the Boston Schools many years ago – when I was 14 had to go there to get my work certificate. I had a high paying job waiting for me over at a small concession called the Head House owned by a friend of my father’s Ben Slawsby. I also worked at the Capitol Market that Ben owned; met his son Stanley who took me to my first, and perhaps only, demolition derby. Wuite a treat for a 14 year older. Good memories.

      John Connolly will probably never get out. The state (with the help of the feds) is appealing the decision reversing his conviction. That will take another year or two to be heard and decided. It seems that he should be at least out on bail but I’ll tell you MS, the judges have no reason other than to go in slow speed. The idea of speedy justice has disappeared in this country. Everything is bogged down.

      1. I came across my Boston License to be a Newspaper Boy a couple of days ago.
        Reminded me of countless games of stick ball played in the backside of the Peter Fanuiel.Do they still make those rubber dimpled balls?
        Shining shoes in Scollay Square in front of Joe and Memos and inside the Silver Dollar is probably the reason for my obscure posts
        2 stories for today


        Former head of information authority in the Egyptian General Intelligence, Major General Hossam Khairallah believes that what Habib El-Adly claimed in court on Saturday concerning Egypt’s warning to the United States about 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks ‘lacked objectivity’.

        http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=84a2c6cbe080c5515da932a5d&id=06f94ec099&e=91763ac8799/11 Truth Teleconference (http://houston911truth.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=84a2c6cbe080c5515da932a5d&id=5e0b7fe58d&e=91763ac879

        1. MS:

          We used the pimple balls and cut them in half so we could play the stick balal game half ball. We didn’t do much shoe shining because most of the people in our neighborhood had no shoes.

        2. That was Joe and Nemo’s, not Memo. I can still vividly remember my father taking me there and me losing the delicious hotdog “all around” I had for lunch a short time later.

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