One of my most favorite images of my Deedledee with his race-car- the “Dirty Din”. A  small piece of chalk that he used in his welding shop. He was an inventor, a creator, a fabricator, dog lover, kind-hearted, hometown guy.



This is probably the longest and most personal post that I have ever written. Ever. But I feel compelled to share a bit of who I am, as I prepare for this weekend St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. For those that don’t know me, I have a lot of Irish blood running in my body…and most of it comes directly from my Deedledee {a name I gave him as a toddler, because he used to do an Irish jig for me outside my window…when I should have been napping}. Hugh Patrick McGovern was my paternal grandfather. And even though he was only with me for just shy of 13 years of my life; he made an incredible influence on me. Mostly, my strong family ties- which I hold above all else, to a fault.

St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t also a scared holiday to me. In the first grade, I clearly remember stamping my foot and crying because I did not want to wear the only ugly green sweater my father could find. My dad explained me to that I was disrespecting my Deedledee. That it was an honor to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. It showed our Irish pride. Irish pride that built the house I was living in…in the same bedroom my Deedledee grew up in. Threats of going next door and telling my Deedledee…never again have I considered not wearing green on St. Patty’s Day.

I thought it fitting to dig out an essay I wrote to get into the University of New Hampshire’s English Department.


 “Coffee Frappes” Meghan Hamilton. 1996 {this was included in my application to UNH English Dept.}

       Each time I make a coffee frappe, I think of my grandfather. Deedledee and I share a frappe almost every day at two when I was growing up. Like clockwork, each day I saw him in the shop and waited for him to finish welding. When the big hand was on the top and the little hand was on the second dot of his faded clock, we got ready to leave.

      He’d wash his hands and I’d hop into his old, smelly truck. Eddie, his German Shepard, sat between us and slobbered all over me. Eddie always thought it was too hot, he was too tired, and he was too old. With this reasoning, he took it upon himself to lean and drool on me. I never complained once, and I have no idea if Deedledee ever realized that I wasn’t as crazy about Eddie as he was.

     Deedledee and Nanny lived at the end of my road, so luckily it wasn’t a very long ride. Nanny never ran out of ice-cream; Deedledee and I always had plenty to spare. We liked Kimball’s and Hood’s the best.

     Each time, Deedledee got out the coffee syrup; I was too small to reach the shelf. My job was to get the milk, the ice-cream, and the ever important mixer. He always told me the correct way to make a “good” frappe, in case I managed to forget for the day before. 

     “Eight scoops, Meg, you don’t want it to be too thick. Good girl. Now, pour in lots of milk. Almost to the top. Good, now let me take over.”

      I was hardly ever allowed to put syrup in, because I usually put in way too much. When I did mess up, he never got mad at me, he didn’t say anything at all, instead he would give me a knowing smile.

     After they were done, we watched “Leave It To Beaver.” Those Cleavers were really too much. He used to tease me and said I liked Beaver, but I was really in love with Wally. After Beaver, we saw “The Andy Griffith Show.” Deedledee thought Andy was the greatest, but I preferred Opie and Barney.

      As I got older, my two o’clock frappes with Deedledee became fewer. In nursery school they were practically daily, but in grade school they were almost weekly. During summer vacations, when my cousins and Sara were older, we were usually busy playing. After I moved away, Deedledee and I shared a frappe whenever I came back to visit. Our frappes were an unspoken tradition between us.

     The last time I saw my grandfather alive was also the first time I made our frappe without his help. He was too tired to dig out the ice-cream and get the syrup; instead he told me that I had seen him make them enough to know how. When I brought in his frappe, I sat on the floor next to his bed and we watched “The Andy Griffith Show.”

     If I had known that this was our last frappe together, maybe I would have tried harder, measured more accurately, and poured in a little more milk. If I had known I would have made him the vest coffee frappe ever. Today, when I see a coffee frappe I think of my Deedledee. I remember watching the black and white t.v. and sitting at Nanny’s bar in the kitchen. I remember how good they tasted and no matter how good the frappe is now, I know my Deedledee’s would have been better.

The End.


After my husband and I were officially settled in our new home; my Nanny gracious gave me Deedledee’s old frappe machine. It sits proudly on display in my kitchen.

This year, my cousin H.P., and I are going to pay tribute to our grandfather with a new twist….we are adding a can of Guinness to Deedledee’s frappe. I’m sure if he was here, he would certainly approve of our new grown-up celebration.

Irish Guinness & Coffee Ice-Cream Frappe Recipe

1 can ice-cold Guinness

8 scoops coffee ice-cream {I used Deedledee approved Hood, as I live to far from Kimball’s}

Giant squirt of coffee syrup.

Blend until smooth.

Toast the Irish. Enjoy.

What is your most favorite food or drink that reminds of of someone? I’d love to hear.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! xxoo Meg

p.s. A bit ironic that the frappe machine was a Hamilton-Beach, no? :0)

  1. mina says:

    Meg – I love this post – it’s so great to hear stories about your family – your commitment and steadfast nature is inspiring <3 Glad to be your friend 🙂

  2. chloe says:

    I remember this essay. He would be so PROUD of who you’ve become!

  3. Dad says:

    Very nice tribute but the sweater wasn’t that ugly. Happy St. Patrick’s Day

  4. heidi says:

    my favorite blog posts are those from the heart. thank you for sharing…and also for sharing the recipe….totally trying this weekend!

make a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *