Стр. 26 - vol3_#15_Rockaway Times_IM_v11

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Page 26
The Rockaway Times
Joseph F. Keenan
Attorney At Law
114-04 Beach Channel Drive Suite 9
Rockaway Park, New York 11694
Phone: (718) 747 8850
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ents visited Ireland to see
my mother's family in the
late 60's I asked my father
to ascertain the correct pro-
nunciation of "Mahon" from
the locals there. Upon his
return after several weeks in
the "old country" I asked my
father, "So what's the deal
with our last name?” He re-
plied that the locals were
somewhat confused by our
last name as it didn't have
"Mc" in front of it (i.e., "Mc-
Mahon") and he inferred
that the locals may have
thought we had intentional-
ly dropped the "Mc" prefix as
a means of "Americanizing"
our last name, which they
also thought was culturally
inexcusable although amus-
ing because of the resulting
likeness to the phrase "po-
gue mahone" as explained
above. Although at times the
Irish can be a cruel people,
they are not the only ones
with a predilection for pat-
ronymic humor.
After being laid off from
the NYPD back in 1974 I
joined the NYC Department
of Corrections in 1975 and
was assigned to one of the
larger jails on Rikers Island.
It was not uncommon to be
walking among a group of
Hispanic inmates and hear
someone shout out "aqui
viene el mojon!" which I ini-
tially thought, that upon see-
ing my uniform nametag, it
was simply the inmate's way
of announcing to the group
that Correction Officer Ma-
hon was in the area. Upon
hearing this I would always
cordially reply to the group
in general, using my limited
knowledge of the language,
"Buenos Dias, como esta?"
which would always be met
with a rousing chorus of
laughter on the part of the
group of inmates. It wasn't
until several months into my
new career on Rikers Island
that another officer who was
fluent in Spanish pulled me
aside and advised me the
inmates were misreading
my name tag and that "aqui
viene el mojon!" translated
to "here comes the turd!"
which they obviously found
hilarious. As it turned out,
apparently some Hispanics
are as easily amused by the
mispronunciation of one's
last name as the Irish!
In any event, as I look back
over the past decades and
my never-ending struggle
to have my surname pro-
nounced correctly (if and
when I can ever determine
such correct pronunciation)
I find I have suffered neither
anxiety nor resentment. Un-
like those special snowflakes
ensconced within safe spac-
es at our universities, I do
not consider such phonetic
errors as slights against my
family, culture or having
served to negate my identi-
ty. Truth be told, I firmly be-
lieve there are always those
in life carrying much more
baggage than ourselves. Just
look at Anthony "Weiner"...
or perhaps "Whiner"...or
perhaps "Weener." No good
can come from any pronun-
ciation, correct or other-
wise, of that last name!
Broad Channel - why
would anyone want to live
anywhere else?
Continued from Page 18
The Business Outreach Center
(BOC) is hosting a free child care
info session to announce its free
child care training course. The
Child Care Means Business is a
thirteen week 60-hours intense
training that teaches business
management, nutrition, and
early childhood development
to individuals who want to start
or expand a child care home-
based business. Individuals who
are currently licensed family or
group child care providers are
encouraged to attend the info
session because of the infor-
mation that could assist with
increased enrollment and the
successful management of your
home-based child care business.
The info session will be held at
the Blanche Daycare Center on
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The
daycare center is located at 44-02
BeachChannel Drive, Far Rocka-
way. For further information and
to register for the info session,
please contact Annette Cohen at