I do hope you’re settling in well at school, and that you are not having me on about being happy to go. I usually don’t worry about you pretending to be happy about something you are not, unlike your sister, but in this case you can chalk it up to a case of your father having some anxiety about sending you so far. Not to mention so unsupervised. Yes, I realize it is a military school but I can recall being thirteen with a clarity that would frighten you. I’m sure you have trouble imagining me so young. I wish I had had your maturity when I was that age, who knows what might have happened? In any case I would appreciate you using the new phone and computer I bought you for regular facetime. Emails or letters will not be enough. You are a Downey so I know mischief runs heavy in your veins. And the sneaky twinkle in your sister’s eyes has me uneasy as well. I do want to say I would not mind if you showed an interest in taking up letter writing like me and your great grandpa Seamus. It is a forgotten art form. People just dash off texts and emails these days without a care.
I just scared myself with how old that made me sound. You can stop snickering any time. On another note, I just got off the phone with your brother who was surprisingly friendly. Well, perhaps not friendly, but polite and animated. He’s moved out of that horrid old house he was renting off 48th and found a single apartment closer to downtown. I said that was a good move because the hours he keeps he has no business having to keep up another man’s yard, and let’s be real the other tenants in that house never did their part. He’s thinking he might be making the rank of Detective soon. I’m sure he figured that would just ruin my day, but quite the opposite. I told him if he doesn’t make it, I could get him placed here in Chicago, the Alderman in our district is always carrying on about needing more boys in blue. Tommy laughed quite a bit at that. Who knows at which part? But he thanked me for the call, which was a first. If you were here you’d be able to tell me if I was making too much out of it. This is another reason I will miss you greatly–our talks about Tommy. It’s not the same with your sister. She is too much of a people pleaser, always wanting to fix things that can’t be fixed. You inherited your poppa Big Joe’s skill for listening. Another forgotten art.
I’d better wrap this up, especially since I will be seeing you soon anyway, in fact, maybe before this letter even arrives. See? Your old man can be sneaky too. Possibly you already knew that. (nyuk nyuk nyuk) I’ve a friend in DC I haven’t seen in quite a while and I thought I’d surprise him with a visit and I can pop over and see you while I’m there. You can show me around your dorm and introduce me to your new friends, of which I am sure you already have several. Did your mother tell you that you actually have a cousin on the Bonanno side not too far from there? I’m not sure of the exact connection, you’ll have to check with her.
I love you and don’t forget I’m always keeping an eye on you, so no shenanigans, alright, boyo?
See you soon!
Your Loving Father,
PS- Keep your grades up and my pilot says he’d be happy to have you along for a ride in the cockpit. Won’t that be a fun bragging right for your friends?
Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey