Artists at the Olive Stack Gallery
Here are the two artists, Jen and Diane who are currently in residence in Olive Stack’s. They look a bit frozen in their own photo taken on one of their many tours of Kerry. Damien Stack has given them the lowdown on the history of Listowel and North Kerry.
Here is a sample from Leaving Cert results night last week which they spent in John B.’s
“We ended a very productive day with our favorite pub theater at John B Keane’s. It is the anniversary of Mary Keane’s passing, but the show went on, “shop face” for everyone. Mickey MacConnell played a song new to us, “The Leaving.” Here in Listowel, young men and women receive results of exams today which will determine their futures, many of them leaving to pursue higher education or apprenticeships. Today, my son moves into his dormitory at the University of Florida, and Mickey’s song had me in tears from the first line.
But there were many lighthearted moments as well, including a gregarious Australian whose accent was lovely but a bit confusing amidst all the brogue, a muralist from New York who was enjoying her first taste of Guinness, and a fantastic performance from “The Field” in which the actor, playing the bishop, had Diane and I nearly confessing to a fictional murder.
I’ve rambled on a bit in this blog today. But let me leave you with this: we’ve been to pub theater time and again, sometimes to hear the same bits and songs. And with each telling, the stories get better, the jokes are funnier and the songs more moving. Because we are changing – becoming a part of the landscape, a part of the story, and because we now know (almost) all the words. This place has changed me, and I am so grateful.”
Then and Now
Reproofing underway here
L and M Dry Cleaners on William St.
What was Elegance on Lower William Street.
Brigid fell in love with the place of her Kerry ancestors
Before I fell ill, I had had a lovely communication from Brigid Braden from Chicago. Brigid was coming to Kerry to connect with her Irish roots and she was spending a half day in Listowel, researching her Maher line.
Because she is a lovely lady and she appreciates what I do, she invited me to lunch with herself and her family in Allos. I was delighted to accept her invitation and I was looking forward to my treat.
“The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft agley”. Burns never said a truer word. On the day of the proposed meeting and lunch I was laid low in a Cork hospital……BUT…….Brigid didn’t forget me. Here is an extract from her recent email;
“I wanted to share with you what a tremendous trip we had to Ireland. I have fallen head over heals in love with Listowel. I am without a doubt that this is where my ancestors are from when I arrived we all found such love for the town and its people. We were welcomed with open arms to the farm where the Mahers from 1825 were found farming in the Tithe Applotment books. The most wonderful lunch at Allos and attended beautiful mass at St. Mary’s. The kids just loved the Seanchai museum and Castle. Our only sadness was missing you that day and I did think of you often while I was there. It was thanks to you that I felt familiar and comfortable in Listowel. It is such a blessing to be able to get that from you. Listowel Connection really works! Before I left the town, I was planning my return. It was just a few short hours. And I can’t wait to come spend days and truly soak the town into my soul.
I’ve attached a picture of my little family, Mike my Husband, Myself Brigid and two of our children, Michael James and Mary. We are missing my 3yr old JJ. But I promise he will be back with us soon. And I promise we will be taking you to lunch, celebrating your good health and Listowel! All my best wishes and thanks to you. Cheers, Brigid
“Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand
Or the sound of a voice that is still.”
The link above will take you to Michael Guerin’s lovely memories of Races 1991 captured on film and remastered by Michael himself. You will want to watch it a few times to identify all the well known local faces, so many of them gone from our streets. R.I.P.