John Coakley’s Annual Family Hoe Down
Friday September 19
I considered not going to Emmitsburg on Friday September 19th for the Rosary for Life at St. Mary’s because I knew I would be going to John Coakley’s Family Hoe Down on Saturday evening the 20th. I had not had a shower because the electricity was still off from Hurricane Isabel. Just before I got off work I changed my mind and went anyway.
When I arrived at St. Mary’s people were waiting in the vestibule because there was a wedding rehearsal going on in the church. Fr. M__ said it would be at least 20 more minutes. Dolly K suggested that we just go downstairs to the parish hall and have the rosary there. That’s what we did.
It was at that time I learned that Sister Genevieve had been moved to a nursing home in Gettysburg until a bed becomes available at St. Catherine’s in Emmitsburg. When the rosary was over I left at the same time everyone else did. I rode by St. Joseph’s on my way home and arrived at 9:33. I only stayed for a minute and then drove home. When I pulled in my driveway the odometer was 33.
Saturday September 20
There was no 8:30 mass at "Parish Church" this morning because of a 11:00 funeral. I had a very strong desire to go to mass but not a funeral mass. I considered riding to Warrenton but there was not enough time to get there. I then remembered there is a 9:00 mass at St. Patrick’s so that’s what I decided to do. I got in my truck and pulled out of the driveway and the time on the dash was 8:13.
I drove to St. Patrick’s and the storm damage there looks a little worse than in "hometown". There were blown over trees everywhere. There was no power to the church. Fr. Scalia said mass. When mass was over I returned to my truck to go home. When I started it the time on the dash was 9:33. I drove home and pulled in my driveway at 10:13.
I spent the rest of the morning taking care of some things around the house. Later in the afternoon I left to go to John Coakley’s annual Hoe Down. John and his family host this outdoor party every year. I have been invited for the past 4 years but I have only attended in 2001 and this year. This annual party started off as just a Coakley family event and over the years extended to the Thursday Night Prayer Group.
I left in plenty of time to go to the 4:30 mass at St. Joseph’s and was delayed because of traffic and I arrived at 4:33. Fr. O’Brien was the celebrant. After mass I stayed in the church and prayed the Glorious mysteries of the rosary and then went to pick up Jim O’Brien. There was still plenty of time before the party so Jim and I rode out to the Grotto of Lourdes. While we were there we prayed the Luminous mysteries at the Fatima statue.
We then rode to Westminster, Maryland which is about 15 or 20 miles from Emmitsburg and when we got to Westminster I had problems finding the house. I called for directions and when we arrived the odometer was 33.
There were a lot of people there and like always everyone that I saw was having a very nice time. Gianna and Mike Sullivan were there. There was a live Blue Grass band and they were excellent. One of the things I have noticed especially at events such as this is that Gianna is just a regular person like everyone else and that is how she is treated. No different than anyone else. If this were not the case I don’t think she would come.
Later in the evening when it started to wind down Jim and I left. We drove back to Emmitsburg and I dropped Jim off at his house. I drove back to St. Joseph’s to finish my rosary. I arrived at 11:33. I prayed the Joyful and Sorrowful mysteries and when I finished and was pulling out the time was 12:13. I drove home and pulled in my drive way at 2:13.
Sep. 28, 2003