BC: Happy 60th Birthday! Time to make memories for the next book...
FC: 60 years of Moments With Mo(m) September 8, 1951 to September 8, 2011
1: This is a book about Maureen McAfee Conley told by those who were with her when life happens and moments turn into lasting memories
2: Going back to the beginning..... Mo likes to tell the story about meeting with me for lunch on a Saturday thinking I was going to offer her a job...and not the opportunity of a lifetime. Anyway, that was not really the beginning of our relationship as she and I worked together for several months before I accepted a job transfer to Ortho Pharmaceutical, which, by the way, came shortly after the infamous lunch date. During those months we worked together, Mo was on shifts in the Band Aid production department and I was her Manager. So, we had work reasons to interface but, in time, we both found reasons to increase the frequency of our contacts at work and to include in our discussions lots of information about family, friends, and interests. The “sparks” that we both felt during those times eventually led to the Saturday lunch date at the Alchemist & Barrister in Princeton when she never finished her cheeseburger. The following weekend we had our first real date which, for some unremembered reason, included a visit to the Philadelphia Zoo. ~Bob Conley
5: How cool was it that we, in 1969 leaving home for the 1st time (not me, I was in Wildwood for the summer) and coming to Pittsburgh and moving into the William Penn Hotel with maid service, air conditioners and private rooms (of course I had a private room because Judy Simpson left me and then Jamie dropped out). But, there we were and Peff met the coolest girls on earth from NY and North NJ. And those NY guys I will never forget - Fred Mongaluzzi -God Bless him, Mike Carr - God Bless him, Tom Maresca, Joe Alfier, Greg Langston, Jeff Abrams, Philly Dog, Keith who ever, and I could go on but there we were in a hotel partying!! I have never forgotten my time in the William Penn Hotel. When the JETS won the SuperBowl. Not just the laughs but remember Vietnam Draft day when they had the national lottery and reading birthday and numbers out and girls screaming and crying and running from the main room to the phones. And the Vietnam Protest that was city wide and all the good little Catholic girls went to check it out. And after exams, Kent State shootings on a college campus with kids our age! Do you all remember that?? Crazy, crazy times. ~Nancy Peffal
6: Mac and I had a great seafood lunch earlier this spring in San Diego. I met Bob for the first time. We reminisced and had a wonderful, long lunch, full of Raccoon days, a nice California chardonney and steamed clams. As I recall, I had already turned 59+1 at the time, and our couple hours together made me nothing but happy to be on the planet, even if we are all getting older. Happy Birthday, Maureen. ~Melinda O'Brien | Maureen believed her nickname was the cool one, we always called her the Chinese girl- as she looked in many photos! ~Peg Carrig
7: Approximately 30 years ago the Kuppe’s lived in one of the first solar homes on the East Coast. Steve was most proud of their ability to be way ahead of the curve and Clara froze her buns off. The Kuppes wanted to show off their new home to their friends from J&J. If I remember correctly, it was the Timpermans, Moharys, Di Muzios, Conleys and Kuppes. We had a wonderful time with much laughter, frivolity, and also some alcohol. It was quite apparent that we should proceed inside to dinner before a few of the guests passed out. Unfortunately, Clara had chosen ladder-back chairs for the guests and while in the middle of a story we looked over to see Maureen impaled on the chair while sleeping at the table. I believe the damage to her head was minimal, however you can probably see a little scar if you look closely Maureen prefers red wine, unless all you have is white. She could handle her liquor pretty well, but then again she is Irish. Happy Birthday to a Philly girl who somehow has become the Queen of Recalls. You have consultancy in your future Best Wishes.Tom and Carolyn
8: Melissa Kate's Moments Your patience during what you later referred to as one of the worst days of your life – my one day stint as a child model. Your look of dread as we sat in the chairs at Village Salon and you let Karen chop off all of my hair. | Shopping for prom dresses – always started out rough but somehow ended with us laughing because we picked the last dress either one of us thought we would both like. The way you held me in your arms and cried right along with me when I blew out my knee. Seeing how strong you were when Dad got sick.
9: The conversation in the mini-van at Washington Crossing when you told me you were starting a girls soccer team because I shouldn’t be playing with boys anymore. You were right. Your beaming smile and eyes welling up with tears when I told you I was going to Holy Cross. In your bathroom at Chadwell Ct, when you cut yourself teaching me how to shave my legs. Our weekend at Mohonk – when I realized you’re also one of my best friends. | Melissa Kate's Moments
10: We can't forget Mo's infamous elevator ride! One of my favorite memories is the one where we took Maureen down to the lobby of the Towers in her pajamas. As you can see in the pictures from that fateful night, Maureen had a big smile on her face, and took it all in stride. I can honestly say, I don’t think I have ever seen Maureen really flustered or mad. She didn’t get that “Cool One” nickname for nothing. ~Patty Schlicht | The crazy story of your mom being dragged down the elevator in her curlers and nightgown and tossed out to the lobby. We were so mean! The best part of it was your mom didn't get mad. She just laughed and rolled with it. I have to say that is the reason I love your mom so much is that she is such an easy person to be with. I can't believe it's been over 40 yrs since we all first met. In my mind's eye we are still 18 beginning our 4 years at Duquesne. ~Rosemary Roach Miller
11: What can I say about you mom? She was beautiful with her little turned up nose. She was our fashion guru...all of us borrowed the faux fur skirt with matching vest. She was the sweetheart of Sigma Chi and the sweetheart of the 16th floor! Forty two years later, I can say she is more beautiful than ever, remains the fashion queen and will always be our sweetheart! Happy birthday Maureen! ~Sue DeBeau
12: Walking out the door to go to Toll Gate and being told I was so handsome and had “piano–player’s fingers” Realizing fully for the first time how hard you worked for this family; I was about 15 | Getting pulled over on the way to the 1 millionth soccer game because the cop thought you waived at him while speeding; I thought it was awesome Your loud shriek in the middle of the store when I told you I received a scholarship to law school | Matt's Moments
13: Thinking about when Maureen left for college, I was 12 or 13 and so sad. Maureen had it all. She had the best hair, the best friends and perfect grades... and...she was Captain of the drill team. I wanted to be like her in every way. What I know now and didn't know then was that her biggest talent was not all of that superficial stuff but what she is really about is her amazing ability to love. No matter what happens It is always unconditional for her. All of us are so lucky we have her and her love in our lives. Maureen have a happy birthday and many more. In case you guys are wondering...I never made the drill team. ~Eileen McAfee Wilson
14: One of the funniest thing I remember about your mom happened in the middle of finals I think. We were studying for an ethics test and had had just about enough of Nietzsche - damn those existentialists - and Maureen hit the wall. She started walking back and forth in the hall as if she was a robot and saying in robot speech "I am the portable Nietzsche. I walk, I talk, I say God is dead" Ask her to do it for you - its funnier than this sounds! Living next door to Maureen and Comfrey in the Towers is one of my most pleasant memories of dorm life - and my time at Duquesne. Wish you the best birthday. Love you Maureen ~ Caitlin Wood-Yesline
15: One of the memories that stands out the most for me is the day I first met Maureen. It was the beginning of the fall semester of 1971-1972. That year classes at Duquesne started before Labor Day so we had all moved in before the holiday. That is everyone but Maureen. I was new to the Raccoons, and all I kept hearing about was how Maureen worked at the shore and would never be back before Labor Day. Everyone seemed excited for her to get back, and spoke of her with such fondness that I couldn’t wait to meet her. Her arrival day came and into the lounge walked this beautifully tanned girl (we never called ourselves women then), so pretty with this beautiful smile and this infectious laugh. She was so sweet and kind. I have to say she is still as sweet and kind as the day I first met her. ~Patty Schlicht
16: Happy Sweet 60th Maureen! We will never forget the good times together, especially Pictionary night! Thanks to your quick thinking, the girls ended up winning the game...Amazing! Love, Larry and Gail Long I would add smart and funny! She had/has the best laugh. She would light up the 16th floor with her smile and her laugh (as well as any room!). Happy 6-0th Maureen! ~Maryann Krayer | Never forget driving home from the Brewster's New Year's Eve party! ~Barbara Clancey
17: I cannot remember the exact instant Maureen and I connected but it was almost 31 years ago in Pennington. Whenever something was going on, Maureen was there and usually in charge. | I am happy to have been her sidekick in so many "Moments of Moe" memories.... Welcome Wagon, St. James' Church events, Bob and Eric, house parties, tennis, watching endless sporting events, Disney World, Lake George, turning 40, cheating at Pictionary, competitive daughters, wine, Eric and Bob, more sporting events, turning 50, Super Bowl parties, weddings, Bob and Eric, Irish Catholic roots, more than 25 New Year's Eve celebrations together, Book Club, wine, now the joy of grandchildren and turning 60 years old! Maureen is so good at putting people together and keeping in touch once you have met her. She has great empathy and is a truly good friend in so many ways. I know we will have fun keeping young together. ~Linda Bradshaw
18: Lyrics from CCR that after a few drinks Mac liked to sing loudly and badly and always changing the third line of the chorus from "there's a bad moon on the rise" to "there's a bathroom on the right" It was years before she knew the correct lyrics! ~Peg Carrig | I see the bad moon arising I see trouble on the way I see earthquakes and lightning I see bad times today Don't go around tonight Well, it's bound to take your life There's a bad moon on the rise I hear hurricanes a-blowing I know the end is coming soon I fear rivers over flowing I hear the voice of rage and ruin Don't go around tonight Well, it's bound to take your life There's a bad moon on the rise All right! Hope you got your things together Hope you are quite prepared to die Looks like we're in for nasty weather One eye is taken for an eye Don't go around tonight Well, it's bound to take your life There's a bad moon on the rise Don't go around tonight Well, it's bound to take your life There's a bad moon on the rise
19: Around ‘85 we took a vacation trip to Hilton Head island with Mom’s siblings, Kathy, Mike and Eileen and significant others. Anyway, we rented a house in the “plantation” and generally had a great time. The house was across the street from a pool. One night, after a few beers or some wine, your mother suggested a midnight swim (i.e. skinny dip) in the pool...I think to the assembled throng but got no takers. Not being in a strong position to deny your mothers inclination, she and I did end up in that pool sans clothing. That is really the only thing I clearly recall about that trip! ~Bob Conley
20: Having your support through both our toughest years -- middle school. Our first trip to Duquesne when I realized it was the school for me (even if I denied it at first) | My hysterics at the village salon when you had them perm my hair. That quickly got washed out... The look on your face when you opened the box with your new Duquesne Ring | Jennifer's Moments
22: The amazing engagement party she threw for us at the Hopewell winery. It was the first Lefler-Conley combo event. A great foreshadowing to how much fun we would all have together at the wedding. | ~Devon Conley | The week we stayed in LBI at the adorable house she rented. Playing washers out back and talking with the back yard neighbor was a blast.
23: Your patience and support during my wedding dress fitting and realizing that night that I was not only marrying Matt but truly becoming a part of whole new family | Being a little shocked upon meeting you and Mr. Conley and not understanding where Matt got his height Many moments of gratitude for raising Matt to be the Husband and Man that he is. ~Jessica Ditzel Conley
24: 33 Years of Marriage...
25: ...and counting | A love that happens once in a lifetime
26: Staying up at Christmas one year to help wrap presents when Dad was under the weather. This is a big point where I realized I had responsibility. Being brought Ginger ale and toast when I was under the weather Going to J&J and seeing where she works. She showed me off but I was proud to see my professional side of my mom. | Going to the beach and me and her being the last to leave. | Jordan's Moments
27: Talking life not only as mother and son but as friends Celebrating my wedding with her blessing and support
28: "Fan"tastic sister... Circa 1972-1974, I was in high school, living on Pickering Street. Mom and Dad were gone for the weekend, so the keg party was at my house. It was getting late in the evening, so little brother Jim was sent to bed. To help with the noise, the bedroom door was shut and the window fan was turned on. The fan was an old model, entirely made of metal (blades, motor, box, screen, etc.) that sat in the window and rattled like crazy from the vibrations. In an effort to minimize the rattling, I reached into the fan to adjust the screen and WHAP, partially sliced off the tip of my middle finger. Somehow Maureen materialized at the house. Maureen calmly wrapped my finger and took me to Chestnut Hill Hospital, where the tip was sown back on. Mom and Dad eventually found out, but the party/drinking was covered up. Pretty cool Sis!
29: College Bound... Maureen was a big factor in my leaving the familiar confines of Philly and venture out to Worcester, Mass to attend Holy Cross. I was inclined to stay in Philly and attend St. Joe's, with friends, family and the Phillies nearby. Maureen strongly encouraged me to leave the nest and spread my wings. Her words and the success she experienced at Duquesne gave me the confidence I could succeed. | Career Bound... Maureen connected me to one of her Duquesne buddies, Peggy Howard, who hired me at The Wall Street Journal in 1981. Life is a "contact" sport and Maureen provided me my first break. Words of Wisdom... Maureen has been a constant source of love, guidance and inspiration over the years. ~Michael McAfee
30: Your joyful reaction when Jessica and I showed you an ultrasound picture of your first grandchild ~Matt Conley | Your tears of joy when we told you that you were going to be grandmother ~Jessica Ditzel Conley
31: The day you became GrandMo to Grace Judith Conley ~Matt and Jessica Conley