By Sean Patrick
(Pelican Publishing Company, Hardcover, 9780882898780, 224pp.)
Publication Date: February 1992
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You've heard of Murphy's Law and even thePeter Principle, but here's a new one: Patrick's Law. Patrick's Law, whichdeserves at least equal space in the index of life, states that in largefamilies, the youngest gets the shortest end of the stick.The youngest has certain traits that can last to adulthood: "Hisclothing will mark him and his position in the family strata. His socks willdroop because of a lack of elasticity brought on by age and the larger anklesof his brothers. The youngest will generally never hold an original opinion forfear of being informed he is a klutz by at least one of his brothers. He willalways be referred to as So-and-So's little brother and will NEVER (a) get theSunday funnies first, (b) go anywhere without telling at least two personswhere he is going, or (c) be able to read a comic while seated on the family'sonly commode."Patrick's Corner is a collection of stories about growing upafter World War II in a world where family life, neighborhood interdependence, and nurturing environments were the norm. The author describes how one family'ssteadfast devotion to each other and their foundation of moral values helpedthem surmount the challenges of poverty.Told with the sensitivity of the "baby of the family," thisnostalgic reminiscence is full of warmth, love, growing pains, and thestruggles for survival. The author writes about his "comin' up" asthe youngest of six sons in an Irish Catholic family headed by a widowedmother. Like most brothers, the Patrick boys fought, but more often they werefriends who talked, laughed, and shared their growing pains with each other.
Even if you have never had to wear hand-me-down clothes or been referred toas So-and-So's little brother or sister, these stories are sure to touch yourheart.Sean Patrick, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, lives in Fayetteville, NorthCarolina, where he teaches creative writing at Fayetteville Technical CommunityCollege. He has operated two teen group homes, served as an administrator of areligious education program at his church, and, along with his wife, has givenlectures on parenting skills. He has written for Catholic Digest and hasalso been published in The Liguorian.