Earlier in the week, my uncle John Peyton finally passed away after a long illness at the age of 91; the funeral was on last wednesday.
John was born in 1916 – on the day that James Connolly was executed in the aftermath of the 1916 rising. He had a life long interest in technology and science; he bought his first PC only 5 years ago, never went anywhere without his mobile, and in the true nature of an engineer, always had a pen in his jacket lapel pocket. He had a lifelong interest in photography, and we would crack up when, after posing the nieces and nephews for a picture – he would discover that the film had run out; this would happen a lot as he was pretty prolific with the camera.
Innumerable items in large suitcases made their way home to the West of ireland through his annual visits back from Chicago – I particularly remember an incredible scalextric set and electronics hobby kit, as well as innumerable bananna-seated bikes , multi-band radios and at one stage a RC controlled model Cessna.
And of course there were the stories of his travails in Ireland, England and the States – intermingled with the characters he had met, and the things that he had seen; he could remember vividly being present at the Farnborough Air Show in the 1950’s when disaster struck.
It’s the money he sent for me to purchase my first computer I remember most though. Back in 1982, the illicit journey into deepest Fermanagh, and the electronics shop in Enniskillen seemed like a big adventure.
I still have that computer, and it still works; 25 years years later, I’m still doing something that I love – he would definitely approve of that.