Archive for January, 2014

A Rape at Downton Abbey

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Mary Dugganby Mary Duggan

I read a discouraging post on Facebook recently. I was a “bystander” to a conversation between two friends. One of the two wrote that she had not been watching Downton Abbey since the episode depicting the rape of Anna Bates. She found it to be just too intense, too ugly for her tastes or something to that effect. Her comments filled me with rage. I wondered, who among us gets to be too sensitive to witness the very real and tragically common crime of rape?

I am a HUGE fan of Downton Abbey and I applaud the show’s creators for including this crime in their story line. I can’t wait to see how they handle it. I am holding my breath and praying they handle it better than our family did when my dear sister, Annie, was raped as a young woman. So far the wisdom and compassion the wonderful Mrs. Hughes is showing gives me great hope that I will not be left frustrated and angry. I hope that Julian Fellowes writes a story with a better outcome for his Anna than was written for our Annie. (more…)


Santa and the Silver Stole

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

By Mary Duggan


My folks did it up right at the holidays with their Christmas Eve gathering of cousins, aunts, uncles, assorted friends, their own eleven children and yes, at the appointed hour, a live appearance from Santa. It was magical. When cousins gather now, a half century later, we all still relive those memories.

But the winter of 1960 found me sick. Really sick. I am only going to give this a few more days, was the prognosis from Mom’s cousin, the doctor.  If she doesn’t make a turn-around I am going to hospitalize her. Pneumonia. I would not be in attendance for Christmas Eve. I was 7 years old and crushed.

xmas 61 card

Dad used his skills from a career in advertising to create our Christmas Cards. 1961, with Annie, Jim and Clare still on the horizon, baby Patrick’s arrival was the big news.