Pat’s trip down memory lane

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A FORMER Buckhaven woman turned New York author has recently returned to Fife for the first time in 42 years to sign copies of her book.

Pat DeMono, nee Handy, made the trip back across the pond to personally autograph copies of ‘Back to Buckhaven and Other Short Stories’ at Waterstone’s in Kirkcaldy.

Set in the towns and villages of Levenmouth and the East Neuk, where she grew up, the book contains 12 short stories and, although all fictional, each is set in an area of personal interest to Ms DeMono, who emigrated to America in 1969.

The former Buckhaven Primary and High School student said she had a great time reminiscing and meeting up with acquaintances of yesteryear.

“I was in Scotland for four days, and it was wonderful,” she said.

“I found a cousin I didn’t know I had, I was welcomed at the house where I grew up, I visited Miss Murray’s great-niece at Miss Murray’s Sweet Shop, went back to Buckhaven Primary School (pictured right), Buckhaven High School, walked the braes of Buckhaven, found Craigtown Maternity Hospital, where I was born, and stopped in at all the coastal seaports mentioned in the book.

“It was surreal. So many people in Buckhaven had bought, borrowed, read or knew of the book. I was amazed.”

‘Back to Buckhaven and Other Short Stories’ is available from Waterstones in Kirkcaldy and from online bookshops such as Amazon.

FOLLOWING her whirlwind visit back to Fife, Ms DeMono revealed her trip was almost ruined when she returned to the USA, to be welcomed home by an earthquake and a hurricane in the space of a week.

Ms DeMono, right, who lives near the banks of the rivers Delaware and Neversink, explained: “The earthquake did little more than give our house a good shake but Hurricane Irene brought some pretty severe flooding to our area, as we’re on the banks of the Delaware and Neversink Rivers.

“My son Robert had just started classes at New York Law School, commuting to downtown Manhattan by train, when the hurricane hit.

“It caused so much damage on the tracks, service won’t be restored for months.

“He’s now spending five hours a day on the bus.”

Coincidentally, Fifers got their own taste of Hurricane Irene at the end of August, when the tail of the storm reached the Kingdom’s shores.

Not as severe as Hurricaine Katia, which reached Scotland earlier this month, it still battered the coastline for a day with high winds and heavy rain.