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October 21, 2005

Little Theater, Quad 346, SJU

Nicholas Hayes, History


Over the past four years, I have stolen time from my academic and media work to put together a memoir of my father. Mark Hayes (1909-1956) died when I was nine and when he was at the peak his career as one of the most successful architects in the Upper Midwest.

The narrative of the memoir works through four sub-themes – the world of working class second generation immigrant communities in Minneapolis’ North Side in the 1920s and 1930s; the excitement of being a young architect, one of the “Foshay Tower” generation of Minneapolis; making it as a family man, a “citizen sailor” in WWII, and a New Dealer turned Eisenhower voter in the 1950s; and, finally, the heart attack, sickness and death.

In this reading, I will provide short selections that depict the immigration from Ireland, a childhood and youth that revolved around childhood and youth at Ascension Parish and De La Salle High School; family life and work in the late 1940s; and the heart attack and failed recovery.