Raising four sons was a challenge for me after growing up in a family that was dominated by girls, clothes and fashion. My Boston family consists of twelve children, a boy, ten girls and the last, a boy. We became well known in the city in the 40s and 50s when we infiltrated the Boston Brahmins strolling down Commonwealth Avenue on Easter Sunday. In 1941, our parents, with the oldest son and five little girls in matching outfits, all made by my mother, joined the uppity Easter stroll. It made the front page of the Boston Globe. Each year after that, oldest boy, ten sisters, and finally the youngest, a boy, Daniel, Jr. continued that tradition for about twenty years. It was a time in Boston history when the Irish were coming up in the city and our family, in some way, symbolized their pride in an Irish family. When you have a moment, check out the web site we are working on: tenoneilsisters.com.

On Monday after Easter our father went out to buy newspapers first thing in the morning, but not to the shop at the corner of our street. He wanted to make sure that there were plenty of papers available for our neighbors. The photos went around the United States and the world with international news services. We got fan mail from all over, some with marriage proposals, circling the girl they were interested in.

We also sang and tap-danced to Irish-American music at parish minstrel shows and many other Boston events. I remember my mother working at the kitchen table with the beautiful fabrics for our gowns, then glancing at the clock. “Girls, it’s time to put this away and start peeling potatoes.” I’m the seventh daughter in the photograph. My husband Phil Hanrahan [see Legal 100] and I visit Ireland often and have a home in Ballyvaughan, County Clare.

Submitted by Mary June Hanrahan
Milwaukee, Wisconsin