Joseph MacDougall is quite proud of his Philadelphia toughness.MacDougall will turn 80 in August. He attended North East High School, an all-boys school in the “Brewery Section” of Philly.“There were lots of first- and second-generation Scots and Irish in my school and neighborhood, as well as African-Americans and a few Jewish families from Russia. A real melting pot,” MacDougall said.MacDougall played baseball and football in high school.“We had great teams, but Joe broke his ankle playing baseball right before our prom, and I already had my dress and everything,” said MacDougall’s wife, Joyce.Joyce was 15 and MacDougall was 17, when the high school sweethearts started dating. The couple married three years after MacDougall graduated.After his first child – a daughter, Lana – was born, MacDougall enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania to study English literature. “My wife and mother-in-law made it possible for me to get a college degree,” MacDougall said.Two sons, Eric and Sean, rounded out the family.MacDougall worked in engineering most of his life. He traveled to nuclear plants, studying their structural design.Upon retirement, the MacDougalls divided their time between homes on the East Coast in Cape May, N.J., and the west coast of Florida, south of Tampa. They moved to Sun City Carolina Lakes in Fort Mill, S.C., in November 2011 to be nearer Lana and her family.“We love it here,” Joyce said.“Did I tell you I was an amateur boxer?” MacDougall asked; with his Philadelphia swagger firmly intact, he said he could still hold his own and has a “firm left hook to the body” if anybody wanted to see it.Throughout the years, MacDougall maintained his love of literature and writing.“I’ve written short stories, poems and plays my entire life,” he said.In celebration of MacDougall’s 80th birthday, Lana and her husband, Barry, had some of his stories published in book form.“I’d say the book, “The Short Stories of Philadelphia Joe,” is fiction, based on life’s gritty experiences,” MacDougall said. “The book came out in May, and now I want people to buy it and read it.“I think people will like it. The book’s available online at www.bookcrafters.net.”Upon opening the book, one can read: “Thanks to all the writers that have influenced my creative writings and I hope that they do not sue me.”
Monday, Jun. 24, 2013
Southern transplant still Philly tough
Karen Scioscia is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Karen? Email her at email@example.com.
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