James Patrick Rooney | Author | Sitting on a Rainbow

Meet the Characters

Patrick Connelly:

In Chapter 1, we will meet mid-50s paraplegic stockbroker/financial advisor Patrick Connelly, also known at Pat or Paddy.


Born in an ascending Bronx still aglow with the second war’s decisive triumph, Paddy resembled a brick outhouse—some said it more graphically. He was a picture of sturdiness and vigor in a never-ending pursuit of the distant rainbow of success.


Molly (O Molly):

In Chapter 2, we will meet Molly (O Molly), Patrick’s favorite server at his favorite Irish pub, Murphy’s.


        “God bless you, Molly. Here’s to your health.”

        Smiling, she returned the sentiment, “Slainte, Patrick. And may I say you’re looking mighty chipper today. …”

        … His grin broadened as she sauntered off to spread her sweet Irish cheer to the inhabitants of the next booth.

        My God, he thought, I love a hard-working woman with a sunny mood. Not to mention that delicious brogue.


Becky Connelly:

In Chapter 3, we will meet Patrick’s (soon-to-be) ex-wife, Becky Connelly.


An educated and informed young woman, Becky was probably right a lot more than he was, although he never kept score. …

Becky was a star athlete in multiple college sports and “cute as a button,” as her mother liked to say—a little too often. Her multitude of impressive qualities—her mind, body, resume, steadiness—were what attracted him in the first place. Most of all, he was grateful for any woman who was unconcerned about the wheelchair. Only a remarkable individual, he believed, could take the giant leap of voluntarily sharing his burdens—and that she did.


Kay Weinberg:

In Chapter 4, we will meet Patrick’s therapist extraordinaire, Kay Weinberg.


Kay was their former referee (meaning their marriage counselor). She was smart and good at her trade. Plus, she was smoking hot.

     “You know what Freud said about the Irish, don’t you?” Kay asked.

     “I do not,” replied Patrick.

     “He said the Irish are the only people who can’t be helped by psychoanalysis.”

     “I guess he meant we’re stubborn?”

     “I was thinking beyond hope.”


Marie McCarthy:

In Chapter 5, we will meet Marie McCarthy, Patrick’s long-time assistant—meaning “the boss.” If you’re looking for an assistant, meaning a boss, and a good loyal friend, there’s nothing like a Jersey-girl.


     “Oh, spare me, please. Save it for another time, will ya? We have to get to work.”

     “Yes, ma’am,” he said with a salute. “What’s on the agenda?”

     “You tell me. Last time I looked, you were still the boss.”

     “You know that’s not true, Marie; you’ve been running the show since I can remember, and splendidly I might add.”


     “Oh, for God sakes, Pat, he’s called twice; just get it over with, will ya?”

     “For criminy sakes, who are you, the warden?” He’d huff and puff but knew she was right.


Jeff Saunders:

In Chapter 6 – we will meet Jeff Saunders, the Palm Beach office manager who is riding a high-speed career train to get “across that bridge” as soon as possible, one way or the other.


Tall, lean, and sharp-jawed, Jeff Saunders certainly didn’t overdo the rations and was perfectly uniformed in his ready-for-battle military cut. He spoke with an urgency that raised one’s jitters as much as any double cappuccino.

Saunders may be the only guy alive, fictional or otherwise, who could match the intensity level of 24’s Jack Bauer. … 

If there was a “heart attack in waiting” award, Patrick thought, Saunders would be a shoo-in.


Ian King & Mia Wolfe:

In Chapters 2 & 6, we will meet young financial advisors and rising stars in the firm’s Palm Beach office—Ian King and Mia Wolfe—the KW Group. 


These two looked like they’d stepped off the cover of Wealth Management Advisor magazine. King was Disney prince handsome and perfectly groomed, as usual, all buttoned up in pinstriped blue. But the star of this show was clearly Wolfe. … Dressed impeccably in a coordinated, black-trimmed white blouse and gray suit combination, none of it hid her portfolio.


Bobby Kelly:

In Chapter 7, we will meet (for the second time) Bobby Kelly, Patrick Connelly’s best friend growing up who at 12-years-old encouraged Patrick to learn the game of ice hockey.


“Ice hockey? Are you kidding me? I don’t even own a pair of skates.”

        Bobby Kelly wasn’t a “no” type of guy. He loaned his friend an extra pair of skates, a hockey stick, and a dream. …

Patrick caught some amalgam of fire and ice. An inextinguishable flame hissed in his gut … For the remainder of his first life, Patrick Connelly immersed himself in all thing hockey. …


Sean O’Hanlon:

 In Chapters 8 & 11, we will meet Sean O’Hanlon, Patrick Connelly’s prep school Irish buddy, who was responsible for two of the most important decisions Patrick ever made.


Chapter 8:

        “Sorry, Sean, I’d love to, but no way I’m giving up summer hockey; I’m the captain of the team, for Christ’s sake.”

        “Oh, come on, Paddy buddy, come on; you’ll live to regret it. This is Ireland I’m fucking talking about—our ancestral home.

        “… Last time I looked, we were still in high school; you’re acting like this is my last chance at visiting Ireland—I’ve got all the time in the world.

Chapter 11:

Patrick was in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest visiting his Ireland travel buddy Sean. … He was barely settled in, thoroughly enjoying the mid-summer fifty-degree nights, his morning Starbucks cappuccinos, the insanely delicious salmon with mason jars of crisp Chateau Ste. Michelle chardonnay and long-distance swims in frigid Lake Washington when he found himself sitting in a Lifespring training room. Sean had recently graduated and said it was “totally cool” and he should “go for it.” He also said, “there are a million hot ladies in the training.” That was an effective close.


Larry Devlin:

In Chapter 16, we will meet Larry Devlin, Patrick’s former colleague at his firm. He is a senior financial advisor at his own independent company in the northern suburbs of West Palm Beach.


Larry abruptly left the firm a decade earlier to open his own independent advisory shop in the burgeoning northern suburb of Palm Beach Gardens.

The old friends munched on syrup-slathered blueberry pancakes with sides of crispy bacon piled high while they reminisced and chatted away.

        “No wine list,” Patrick said. “Too bad.”

        “Wine? with pancakes?” with lunch?” Larry asked.

        “You’re right—it’s a tough pairing,” he responded. “I’m guessing a Sauvignon Blanc would work, maybe a Riesling, or certainly a sparkling wine, like a Brut.”

        “You picked the venue.”

        “Yes, I did,” he said, feigning dejection. … “We probably should have met a half hour early and tailgated in the parking lot.”

        “You haven’t changed one scintilla, Pat,” Larry said.

        “How does one change near perfection?”

Larry and his wife of ten years, Maggie, had fallen in love with the Emerald Isle, he told Patrick, and they’d bought a cottage on the Dingle Peninsula to spend their summers.

        “I’m even taking Irish mythology classes at a university in Galway.”

        What do you mean, mythology?”

        “You know—faeries, shamrocks, leprechauns, kings, Merrows, giants, Banshees, Dullahans, the Blarney Stone, St. Patrick, the luck of the Irish—a whole litany of fascinating literature and history.”

        “Do you believe any of it?”

        “Sure; we gotta believe in something, why not fun stuff like that?”

        “Can’t argue with you, my friend.”


Maureen Finn:

In Chapter 17, we will meet Maureen Finn, a server at Murphy’s who recently arrived from County Antrim in Northern Ireland.


     … a strikingly pretty server in a red apron glided up to the table. “You look to be a happy man having a good day, sir,” she said. “May I add to your good fortune with something from the bar?”

        “Why yes, thank you,” he replied in a surprised voice. “Both for your astute observation and your kind offer.” She curtsied and flashed an alluring smile.

      Marie said, “Hey Pat, I couldn’t help but notice our waitress. She’s drop-dead adorable and seems to have taken a fancy to you … why don’t you ask her out? How long has it been?”

     “My God, Marie, you sure know how to pry open the wound. I don’t think modern calendars go back that far.”

     “You could do a lot worse, Pat.”

     “… Oh, Marie, get real—she’s probably at least ten years younger than me.” After a moment of silence, he said, “Will you accept fifteen?” Silence. “Can we agree on twenty and call it a night?”

     “Do I hear twenty-five?”

     “Sorry, Marie,” he said with arched eyebrows. “The bidding ended at twenty.”


Jack Lawson:

In Chapter 21, we will meet Jack Lawson, the Palm Beach office’s head of compliance.


Saunders burst in accompanied by Jack Lawson, his chief compliance officer—the top cop on the beat. The door closed firmly, meaning slammed, and they each planted in chairs across his desk.

        “We’ve got to know right now, Connelly. What did you know, when did you know it, and where did you get the information?”

        “What are you talking about, Jeff?” …

        … “Patrick, the head of legal is already on this. …”

        … “My God, Jack, you’ve already branded me guilty without the benefit of a trial.”

        “It does look bad, Patrick …”


Kerry O’Connor:

In Chapter 22, we will meet old-world antique dealer Kerry O’Connor, originally from County Sligo.


He wore several days of scraggy white facial hair framing ancient creases and a nose as red as his dowdy vest. From the back of his tweed cap fell a complimentary coil of white fleece. An unlit wooden pipe in his left hand, a jar of whiskey poised to his right, you’d have mistaken him for one of those poor souls with the signs at the highway ramp except for his apparent industry.