When tight finances forced James Michael Curley to lay off his domestic staff, Helen McDonough, an Irish immigrant fiercely loyal to the former governor and Boston mayor, sought work with a wealthy Back Bay family that employed her sister.
But during the interview, the lady of that house shunned her job reference from Curley with a curt, “oh, we all know he’s a crook,” according to “The Rascal King,” Jack Beatty’s biography of Curley. “He’s no crook,” Mrs. McDonough retorted. “I don’t like what you’re saying about the governor. I wouldn’t work for you if I never worked again.”
Bryan Marquard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.