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Francis J. Connelly

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In 1955, after serving in Korea with the U.S. Army, Francis J. Connelly joined the New York Police Department.  He worked a variety of assignment on NYPD and retired in 1975 as a lieutenant.  Francis J. Connelly is the author of By Reason of Childhood; Beyond By Reason of Childhood; and, Jesus Says.

According to the book description of Jesus Says, “The urge to write came to a boil late in life when his daughter Catherine, and her husband Tom presented him with a computer on his 70th birthday. "Jesus Says" is his third, and most ambitious effort, and according to Frank, "It was a labor of love, and an honor to write about the words of Jesus." Jesus loves you. So much so, that according to the divine plan, He became man, and when He was 30 yrs. of age He commenced an earthly ministry lasting three years during which Jesus suffered the scorn and rejection of those He had come to save. He preached a Gospel of repentance, forgiveness of sins, and salvation paid for by His suffering and death on the cross. His love for you knows no bounds. You are never alone. Jesus is with you. He is ready to listen to your prayers. Pray to him. Say His name; it is magic. The great irony of this world is that so many reject Jesus, opting instead for shallow and transient values offered by Satan in exchange for their immortal souls.”

According to the book description of By Reason of Childhood, “Through experiences both poignant and comical, sifted mysteriously through the sleeve of his family history, Frankie emerges as an anxious yet mysteriously through the sieve of his family history, Frankie emerges as an anxious yet intrepid survivor.”

According to the book description of Beyond By Reason of Childhood, “Come along for the ride as the less-than-intrepid, insecure author Francis “Frank” J. Connelly picks up where By Reason of Childhood left off—walking down life’s highway, represented by Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn, New York.

Beyond by Reason of Childhood begins with Connelly en route to the U.S. Army induction center on Whitehall Street. From there, it’s merely a series of hops, skips, and jumps to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for basic training; Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, for Morse Code Intercept Operator training; and on to the mountains, valleys, and rice paddies of South Korea. Fourteen months later, after an honorable discharge from the military, Frank meets Anne Marie Fleming. The couple marry, and, as time slips away, they find themselves being compared to a five-and-dime (for their five children and ten grandchildren).

Along the way, Connelly works at various jobs: hauling cable for Western Electric, growing hair for Wybrandt Hair and Scalp Specialists, and spending twenty years on the New York Police Department. Near the end of his career in law enforcement, mental and physical difficulties and the debilitating effects of hypoglycemia take their toll on Connelly. Will his story have a happy ending?”

According to one reader of Beyond By Reason of Childhood, “Most new writers usually suffer a sophomore slump: somehow their sequels never hold up to the success of the first book. This is not the case with Francis Connelly's "Beyond By Reason of Childhood". This continuation of his autobiography takes us from Mr. Connelly's boyhood in Brooklyn to his manhood.

Like the original, this follow-up is filled with the colorful characters that one can only find on the streets of New York City. More precisely, the people Mr. Connelly came in contact with during his many years in the New York Police Department border incredibility. (Then again, only policemen come across the most bizarre of human beings.) As a balance to this, however, are his intimate relations with his friends, and, especially his wife and five children. Special candor is displayed by Mr. Connelly when he describes his bouts with nicotine and alcohol dependencies, and his health problems--specifically, hypoglycemia.

The book also covers a wide-range of subjects: know-nothing "connect the dots" judges, army life, 9/11, etc. And Mr. Connelly's opinions are never disguised. His views on life are often poignant, but the way expresses them are so perfect. My favorite appears near the end of the book:  "I never forget a kindness, but sometimes it takes me a long time to remember it. Come to think of it though, in a lifetime, how many do we receive, and more importantly, how many do we render?"

Good question.  But, as in the first book, there is a load of irony and humor throughout "Beyond By Reason of Childhood" to temper the seriousness. This is Mr. Connelly's unique gift: to draw out the humor from a seemingly humorless world.”

Another reader of By Reason of Childhood said it “is a frank remembrance of a youth spent on Brooklyn's sidewalks. While reading it, I was struck by how Mr. Connelly's book was a sort of male version of Betty Smith's A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. The impossible task of coping with an alcoholic father, the toughing it out in the streets, the quick allies and enemies of childhood, all come together in this open and, often times, funny narrative. Qualities you don't find very frequently these days. The fact is, you have to learn to laugh at life, especially when it tends to frown at you; this is the subtext of BY REASON OF CHILDHOOD. It is a powerfully taught lesson which, to Mr. Connelly's credit, is conveyed to us through this wonderful book.”

Jesus Says
Francis J. Connelly  More Info

...By Reason of Childhood
Francis J. Connelly  More Info

Beyond By Reason of Childhood
Francis J Connelly  More Info

According to one reader of By Reason of Childhood, “I just finished reading this book, and spent as much time crying as I did laughing. It's basically a really engaging collection of episodes from an Irish youth spent making the most of a situation marked with the sadness of an absent, alcoholic father. I read Angela's Ashes several years ago, but found this memoir to be so much more refreshing because it's so much less "literary" and so much more personable. The voice with which the stories are told is more common than McCourt's (in my opinion almost contrived) loftiness, and the image I most often had in mind was Connelly as my own father, telling random stories from memory as they occurred to him, and as he remembered them. In spite of the hardships he was faced with, this guy was a champ at finding the fun and wonder in the simple things he had before him. I live in Brooklyn today, but Connelly made me wish for some of the Brooklyn of yesterday.”

From the History of the New York Police Department 

The Postmen were to include those stationed at public buildings and the cupola, and doormen at the watch-houses. This left the Captains and assistants, and ninety-seven men, to protect the streets during the night. The committee believed the number wholly insufficient to guard the city. After making every effort by rearrangement of the posts to make the existing force as efficient as possible the investigators were forced to the conclusion that twenty-four men ought to be added. They reported, however, against the addition of a new district, on the double ground of expense and the difficulty of locating the new house. They recommended, however the addition of six assistant Captains to the Watch, two for each district, to b on duty alternate nights. Besides, the establishment of relief watch-houses was advocated, the distance of the outposts from the main houses requiring too much time in relieving. To meet this demand it was proposed to erect a watch-room in the rear of a new engine-house, then in course of erection at Delancey and Attorney Streets; for the use of the Second District, and to use the room over the engine-house at Hudson and Christopher Streets for the Third District. Each of these relief houses was to be placed under command of an assistant Captain, and the assignment of men to them was to be left to the Captains and the Police Committee. "If the foregoing recommendations of your committee are carried into effect," the report says, " the number of Watchmen employed for each night will be two hundred and twenty-seven, and there will be constantly on duty three Captains, six assistants, and one hundred and nine Watchmen, ninety-four of the latter being Postmen and fifteen Roundsmen, whose duty it is to visit the posts by divisions every two hours during the night." The estimated cost of these improvement was ten thousand dollars. From a resolution appended to the committee's report it is gathered that the boundaries of the three Watch district were as follows:

First, commencing at the foot of north Moore Street to Chapel Street, thence through Chapel to White Street, to orange Street, through Orange to Bayard, through Bayard to Mulberry, through Mulberry to Chatham, down James to East River, and including all that part of the City north and west of the said line. Second, commencing at the foot of James Street, to Chatham Street, through Chatham to Mulberry, through Mulberry to Bayard, through Bayard to Orange, through Orange to Grand, through Grand to Mulberry, through Mulberry to Broome, through Broome to the Bowery as far as the Lamp and Watch District extend, including all north and east of the said line. Third, all the city in the Lamp and Watch Districts not included in the above. All the recommendations of the committee just quoted were adopted by the Common Council, and were speedily put in operation.


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