Note: Cretin-Derham Hall Traditions - Spring 2006, Volume 18, Number 2 Looking back after 50 years, my best teacher was Henry Conroy, who taught general sciences and physics. From the internal combustion engine, gravity, and space travel to movies, Henry could answer all your questions. I couldn’t wait to get to his class. Cretin was loaded with good teachers, but in my mid, Henry was outstanding. Jack Dolan ’55, St. Paul, MN ===============================
Dad had a dog named Patches who was really a smart dog. Dad trained him to do a lot of tricks and actually put on performances in one of the store fronts in Superior. Patches lived to be almost 13. ===============================
Anecdote from Laura: When they put in the double pass-through from the breakfast nook to the dining room, and it had two sliding doors. Now I always believed what my brother said, and once he said: "Put your fingers in the holes in the side of the doors. Then slide the doors together real fast." When I did, I almost lost my fingers! Well, I tried to think of something to get back at my brother.
My dad always came home about from work about 3:00 and always had to have a cup of tea. He always had a cup of tea before supper. We had had a cup of tea and Hank came home. I said: "You want to have some fun?" He said: "Yea." I said: "Put your mouth on that spout (tea pot) and suck in real fast." (Chuckle) He burnt his mouth. I said: "That's what you get for hurtin' my finger." But you know, kids are kids.
Your dad was going to the store for my mother. He was about 7 years old, I believe. I was just a bitty kid, but I remember this. It was raining. He ran across the street, right straight across the street so mama could watch him. Then he could go down to the corner store. He ran right across the street, and Mr. Crake was coming, didn't see him, and hit him. Mr. Crake picked him up and took him to the house and said he would take her son to the hospital. Mama said: "You'll have to call papa." He said he would come right home. They took Hank to the hospital. And that was when his deafness came. After that, he was deaf in that ear. They tried everything. They took him to the ear specialist in Duluth. Nothing worked.
Then one time out at the cottage (on the St. Louis River at Fond Du Lac), you had to turn a milk bottle in to get a bottle of milk. Nan and Libby and Hank and Jose were going to town. They NEVER wanted to take me. They said they would bring me something if I stayed home. So, I stayed home. (That was really bad because there were kerosene lamps in the cottage and I could have knocked one over.) They started out, and Hank came back for the milk bottles. It was getting on towards dusk, and he started running to catch up to the others. He missed one of the stones in the path, and down he went. The bottle broke and severed the tendon in his ring finger (right hand?). He had that stiff finger for the rest of his life. They took him right in to Duluth, but they couldn't reconnect that tendon.
I remember once a kid had a fight with your dad in the park, and Libby was coming home from the tennis courts and she sees this fight. He was beating up on Hank -- I think he had a stick or a baseball bat. Well, she comes along with her tennis racket and beats up on the kid (no one's going to beat up her brother.) It was a tough 'ole neighborhood. Your dad had a split in his head. My dad had just bought the tennis racket for Libby's birthday, and here it was mashed. But she wasn't going to let any kid hurt her brother. She brought it in and put it down. Of course, they took Hank to the hospital for stitches, because a head wound bleeds so bad. Well, my dad comes home and sees the tennis racket and he couldn't believe my sister Libby would do something like that to a tennis racket. He took her down in the basement and gave her a slice with a leather strap. Then, when Hank and mom got home, they told him that Libby had beat up the kid. Well, my dad ran in the other room and sat down. He didn't say anything to Libby, which made me mad. Of course, Libby was stubborn like her dad. And she wouldn't talk to him either. Eventually, he said something to her. He said he was sorry he had lost his temper. Libby, not to be outdone, said: "Well, if my back ever heals...." ===============================
In 1941, World War II started, and every able-bodied man went into the military. Henry had been working as an acetylene welder for the Great Northern Railroad in Duluth, Minnesota. On March 17, he took his physical exam for induction into the Marine Corps. At the time he was in excellent physical shape. It should be noted that his hearing was 15/15 for both ears. On March 29, 1944 he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After basic training, he was assigned to Training Squadron 131 at the USMC Air Dep., Miramar, California and trained as a projector repairman. He also served as a projectionist. In June 1945, he was admitted to the US Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. There, they discovered that he was deaf in his left ear and had some hearing loss in the right ear. They said in the report that Hank had said he had recurring episodes of earache and otorrhea during childhood, and that he had had scarlet fever at six years of age. They determined the hearing loss was NOT service connected. Hank received an honorable discharge on September 19, 1945. On his discharge papers, he said he might go back to school, but one his goals was to own his own Motion Picture Theater. At the time of his discharge, he was a Private and his pay was $50.00 a month. ===============================
Henry S. Conroy graduated from Superior State Teachers College, the fifty-second Commencement of the College, on June 3, 1948, with his Bachelor of Science Degree. ===============================
Dad and mom lived in Marsa El Brega, Tripoli, Libya for several years. He was working for Dunwoody, and had gone over to teach English, construction, welding, and whatever else was needed. He and mom lived at 1484 Garian, Tripoli, Libya, 3796, Brega. ===============================
Dad had a massive heart attack and died at home. He was taken to the Unity Hospital in Fridley, MN, and from there to the Miller Funeral Home. He is interred at Ft Snelling National Cemetery, Hennepin Co, MN. His Mass of Christian burial was at St. Timothy's Catholic Church, 707 89th Ave NE, Blaine MN on Thursday, March 18, 1982 at 10:00 AM. Father Pat Griffin officiated. Pallbearers were Rick White, Richard Ingvalson, Tom Pierce, John Matschke, Bill Matschke, and Mike Cooney. Miller Funeral Home in Fridley, MN handled the service. ===============================