Finnegan Tales - Stories born in Ardsley and Glenside, Pennsylvania
This book is a collection of short stories that I wrote over a period
of about 25 years. Some stories I wrote as a Coast Guardsman
aboard USCGC RUSH (WHEC 723) from 1984 through 1987 when
I was stationed in RUSH as the Chief Yeoman. Some of these stories
I wrote after that time.  This book can be bought on after
15 March 2009. 
This is a collection of tales, not an autobiography. Whatever
facts and attitudes seem to be in line with my own life is simply part
of the stories’ framework. This is a work of fiction to be enjoyed for
the story telling. All characters, incidents, dates, persons and anything
else that resemble real people and events are unintended and pure
The book of tales was born in Ardsley where I grew up, just the
next neighborhood over from the larger town of Glenside. Glenside
is located directly outside of Philadelphia on the northwestern side of
that city. It is in Montgomery County.
Ard sliabh in Irish and Scots Gaelic means ‘high mountain.”
It is pronounced approximately like Ard-shleh. Some Gaelic speakers
might pronounce it something like Ard-shlev depending on the
part of Ireland the speaker calls home. Neighboring Roslyn in Scots
Gaelic means most likely the same as Rosslyn. It is the feminine form
of ross which means a promontory, that is, a piece of land that juts
out, a sort of peninsula.
There are many other Celtic place names in this area of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Bryn Mawr in Welsh Gaelic means “big hill” and Glenside of course evokes strong images of thefamous Irish rebel song, ‘Down by the Glenside’ also known as ‘The
Bold Fenian Men’. The song was written by Peader Kearney, who
was an Irish Republican and composer of numerous rebel songs, including
The Soldier’s Song (Amhrán na bhFiann), which is of course
now the Irish National Anthem. As you can see by the town names,
strong Gaelic currents ripple through the cultural waters of this part
of Montgomery County, just outside of Philadelphia. That is certainly
reflected in these stories.
I hope that you can come away from the reading of these stories
with some new insights into life in Ardsley and Glenside in the 1950’s
and 1960’s. I have always learned from stories I have heard throughout
my lifetime. I hope that the same holds true for you when you
read the stories that I have written here. Think about writing your
own stories, it gives you a better perspective on who you are.
Tom Barnes
Other books by Tom Barnes can be found at the following websites:
A Distant and Clear View,
Report to General Shinseki,
All of these books can be purchased at
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