My name is Patrick McBride, although the people who call me Patrick are typically angry, disappointed, or perplexed with something I’ve done or said; or they just don’t know me very well. I have been referred to as P, P-McB, P Mac, Pastor Pat, Animal, Pug, and Taco. I now relish the moniker Daideo (Dad-jo), Gaelic slang for grandpa. Of course I’ve been called other names but most people just call me Pat. I was born in 1959 (Honolulu), married in 1981 (Camp Hill)and have two children born in 1985 and 1986 (Virginia Beach) and now have four grandchildren, Levi, Gracie, Nash and Austin.
I live in Mechanicsburg, PA where a ‘Wrench’ is allegedly dropped each New Years Eve. I have not personally witnessed this perennial display of gravitational pageantry. Geographically Mechanicsburg is located between Dillsburg (drops a Pickle) and Harrisburg (a Strawberry). Politically, the region is influenced by both guns and Bibles. I have lived here since 1986 and still don’t understand why the ‘Strawberry’.
In 2009 I signed up for an on-line Memoirs 101 course and started writing again. Other than disparate periods of ‘crisis-journaling’, I hadn’t put a pen to paper since the Creative Writing course I took my sophomore year at the Naval Academy. That was 1979 and I had a crush on my instructor, Molly Tinsley, with whom I recently reconnected via Facebook. Molly is still very sweet. She told me she remembered the opening stanza of a poem I wrote in her class (and frightfully, was published), “A Baracuda, Bad ass and Blue, Cruises the Strand Intoxicated”. Clearly, 1979 was a tough year for the arts.
I’m a combat veteran, recovering alcoholic, and a cancer survivor; a husband, a father and now a delightfully delirious grandfather. Mix all that with with a touch of Irish in my blood, I have stories to tell.
The day will come when I can no longer speak or write; only the ink on my skin, the words in this blog, and memories of my family and friends that will tell my stories for me.
The title Tongonpig arises from my Outward Bound course in August of 2000. Tongo was our hiking chant, and the name for our subsequent reunions. Pig reminds me of my propensity for self-centeredness. Self-awareness is not always pretty. Yet, when I am ready to learn, teachers always appear.
I’m an Aries, like hiking in woods, jumping in waves, and cuddling. Occasionally you may find a golf club in my hand. I’m against cancer and for world peace. I hope you find something you can relate to.