She’d always been the determined type. So nobody was surprised when she left her home and family in Dublin and headed for Newton, Massachusetts when discovering, upon completing her design school course, that there were no jobs for designers in Ireland. That initiative quickly paid off. In no time she came upon a perfect position in Boston as one of five designers of children’s clothing for the Hickory Dickory Frock Company.
She and the job were a perfect match. In time she married, and when children came along she recognized that she was cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. Yet, during those family years she managed to attend summer school and earn a teaching certificate. When the children were safely in bed each night, out she ventured to teach sewing and cutting at night school and keep her skills intact.
Back to the drawing board.
And then, voila! her oldest daughter left for college, her career timing clicked in, and back our heroine went to the Hickory Dickory Frock Company! There, for the next sixteen fulfilling years, she happily designed girls’ blouses in four size groups for each of the four seasons of the year as the industry dictated. She herself selected the buttons and trimmings and cut the first pattern in each size. Then the sewing process was turned over to a specialist to produce the samples which were sent to the company headquarters in New York for appraisal by the buyers.
Most styles then went into production and bore the labels of stores such as Sears or Lerners. Some styles were rejected, with the samples available to employees for purchase at cost! For years she was able to select whatever ones she wanted and send blouses to cousins in Ireland who, to their utter delight, stood out as the best dressed little girls in their school.
An end and a beginning.
At last, changing business practices and the world economy stepped into the picture, imports took over the market, and the company closed. Otherwise, Ronnie might still be designing, for she’d loved every minute of every day at her job! And perhaps she would not have been a candidate for a new adventure when her Boston neighbors the Sciarinis introduced her and her longtime friend Mae to Monterey.
Now, with the passing of time, the flip side of her nature has taken a firm hold on her lifestyle. She is Ronnie the Traveler. She can readily keep track of the years through the many, many trips that have taken her to Spain, to Greece, to Italy – all over the world – and especially to Ireland and to England, where she declares she’ll go at the drop of a hat.
The traveler’s dream trip
What may turn out to be the high point of her travels is coming up soon. Her sister from Africa will meet her at the end of July in Rockland, and later they will fly together to Ireland from where they will fly to London. From there, it’s on to Rome, then to Greece, followed by a stop in Venice. On the twenty-third of September they will leave to travel to northern Ireland, where a huge family reunion is being planned. Here, in County Fernanna, the family will convene on September 27 for a celebration which will include all the cousins from Montana as well as all the cousins from Ireland, and of course Ronnie and her siblings. On the thirtieth, it’s back to Boston.
This may all be more of a challenge than most would willingly attempt, but with her son at his computer lining up the flight plans, Ronnie is right on target and looking forward to the venture.
Hers is not a life for the fragile and frivolous, nor for the shy and timorous. It is a life for those curious about others and the way they live…. and those dedicated to maintaining friendship and relationships to the utmost. It is a life of energy and resourcefulness. It is the life story of Monterey’s Ronnie Sullivan.