She died today. St. Cecilia’s Day, the feastday of the patron saint of singers and musicians, the young woman who “sang in her heart” as she was martyred. I do not think this is a coincidence.
Music was a harsh teacher for both her and her brother, who was treated terribly as a cathedral choirboy. Unlike European cathedral schools (which teach boys to play organ and study instrumental music when their voices change), the one he attended kicked him out and dropped his scholarship when he was no longer a boy soprano. The injustice to him embittered her. So she was one of the many ex-Catholics who got that way via the sins of other Catholics. I’ve heard different things, about whether she was an Episcopalian or an atheist, but I guess it’s not really my business if I don’t know.
She had a hard life and made hard choices, and abided by the consequences. She raised children with her own money. She told goopy indulgent stories; she told beautiful stories full of life. She sang. She made music. She made verse. She made musicians. She made a difference, for good and ill, in many people’s lives.
She lived a full life. May God be good to her, and may He comfort those who knew her best.
UPDATE: Vick Mickunas, the local book radio show guy from out Yellow Springs way, apparently had an “interesting” time interviewing McCaffrey, early on in his time. Heh, heh.
The only time I ever met her, it was after that Treasure of the Sierra Mud-re thing. I’m sure that Joy remembers it well….