Friday, January 15, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My pal Tom Sweeney, back in Plymouth, MN, and a helluva fiddler and
writer, sent me this note from his Ireland travel journal. I love the yarn,
and think you will, too.
"It was my first day in country. I was traveling alone and had no plans
except to let my fiddle follow the music. I headed north from Shannon
and remembered that an old box player friend, Marty McHugh (from St.
Paul, MN) summered at his family home in Castlereagh, County Roscommon.
"Though we'd seen each other at McGarry's bar on Dale Street, McHugh
wasn't exactly expecting me to show up in ireland. I found the
homestead, spent the night and went to a raucous Gaelic music session
in a nearby town.
"There was a bike leaning next to a pub. It belonged to Marty's neighbor,
William, who, I learned, had never owned a car. William seldom ventured
the few miles into town, much less traveled around the country. The old
Raleigh was William's only transportation; his dog (a Border Collie, seen
in the foto above) his best friend. Sweet guy, this William. He was
painting a fence when I met him and had put on a pair of sweats over
his pants for the task.
"After I met William, I went over the hill behind the bike and across
the muddy field to the river for a little trout fishing. Unfortunately
nosey cows at the far end of the field caught sight of me in my red
Gortex rain parka and the whole herd cornered me on the river's inside
bend. It was a straight 8-foot drop to the water and I had nowhere to
go. Picture Sweeney whipping his fishing rod, flailing his arms and
screaming as herd got about 10 feet away. Never did catch any trout!
"It wasn't until later, when I was hosing the mud off my dayhikers and
pants from the sprint back to the house, that I remembered William's
broad smile when I had told him I planned to do a little angling at
the river. Those were his cows.
You are the sum of your stories. Live right. Write good ones."