An excerpt from my memoirs, "Tears of a Crocodile Clown".
Which is it?
I've always thought of myself as being Irish, and I am, partly. There are other nationalities mixed in but I'm not really sure of the percentages. My grandmother's maiden name, on my father side, was "Kelly". Clearly Irish. Her family was from County Mayo. My grandfather's name, my surname, is Sherman. I've never been clear on which nationality it's most closely associated with.
My friend Kiara grew up in the Westchester area of New York but her parents are Irish. They came over from Ireland in the 60's. I met them once back in 2003. Kiara had driven into the city to rescue me from the sweltering heat, lack of running water, and the 14 floors of stairs I had to climb in the dark with a flashlight to get to and leave my apt during the great blackout that year. Upon introducing myself to her mother she asked "what's your last name?". "Sherman" I replied. "Well, you're either a brit or a nazi, which is it?"
(Although I was a bit taken back initially, I was mostly charmed by her hilarious, forthright manner. I find both of her parents to be amiable, loving, and very, very funny people.)
Other excerpts from Tears of a Crocodile Clown:
Sick Days (early bouts with megalomania)
Tears of a Crocodile Clown. Early Ambitions: Science vs Art