By SHEILA O'NEILL
edited
by Harley Hammerman
St. Louis: eOneill.com, 2008

More of a Long Story is Sheila O’Neill’s memories of growing up with her father Shane. They are childhood memories of her family from an adult perspective. The stories are richly illustrated with Sheila’s original drawings and vintage photographs.

It's moving, this tale of what it was like to be at the mercy of such an erratic psyche. In the telling, there is a lot of Agnes in it, which is to say, a kind of compassionnot bleeding-heart, but rather a kind of whimsical sense that life indeed does throw a lot of curve balls.

William Davies King

A beautiful hardcover copy of Sheila O'Neill's book, complete with photographs and full color illustrations, is available from Lulu.com.
 

Foreword

As a child, I had a lot of trouble with reading and spelling.  I think it was dyslexia.  I taught myself later in life to read better.  I just learned to use the computer two years ago, so it is a little harder to write down what I'm thinking about. But I love writing about my family.  I’ve wanted to do the story about Shane for years.

 

The Rowboat Ride
This story takes place when I was very young.  I know Shane and my step-grandfather Robert did have a fight before we left Florida, but don't know the detailsI based it on the fights Shane had later on.  I do remember the boat ride with Shane.

 

Living in Aggie's House
This story takes place from 1953 to1955.  The few weeks we were going to stay at Aggie's house ended up being almost two years.

 

Point Pleasant Beach
In early June of 1956, my mother inherited some money from Grandma Charlotte.  Cathy decided to buy us a house with that money.

 

The Green Duesenberg
This story is about my grandfather's party that he had in 1957, when he was mayor of Stamford, Connecticut, and his Duesenberg in 1929.  I wonder to this day what my Grandfather Webster did with his Duesenberg after Gakie painted it!

 

Shane O'Neill and the Bees

I was terrified of the bees and so many of the strange things Shane did.  I didn't talk or think about it for years.  But now much of it seems funny.

 

Shane in the Old Store
This was very hard to write, because it brings back some bad memories of my childhood.  I sometimes can't sleep, thinking about Shane when he was in his bad moods and how he acted.

 

Good Times and Bad Times
This takes place in 1958 and 1959.  Eloise was my best friend.  She understood me when most of the kids in my school hated me.  I still have more problems with the way some kids treated me than I have with Shane.  Parts of this story are still very hard to think about.

 

The Donkey and the O'Neill Kids
This is a story about the donkey we had a few years after the bees.  It's not much about Shane.  It's mostly about the O'Neill grandchildren and the animals we had.

 

The Police Take Shane to Jail
A beautiful day in late August of 1961 started so happy and ended so very sad.  My father never did find a job. He wanted a job, but no one in town would give him a chance.

 

Miss Goble Dies
By early spring of 1962, my friend Miss Goble was dying in a nursing home, where she had been put by her family.  She never came home again.

 

Shane's Friends
This last story that takes place from about 1962 until 1977, the last time I saw Shane.  It has some very disturbing parts in it.

 

Afterword
I have some good news about the children and grandchildren of Shane.


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