The sun came out again yesterday. We were up early and walking along the River Feale, enjoying the light and shadow, well before it was time to open the gallery.
The path along the river is behind the scenes. Other than the river on one side and the high hedge (growing over the remnants of castle walls long ago), there is just a path. A most delightful path, hidden from the roads and houses, hidden from the pitch and putt and racetrack.
At the far end of the path lies the castle. And next to the castle is the Seanchai - Kerry Writer's Museum. Tucked into an office behind the scenes in the museum is a lovely lass named Maire Logue. Maire is married to a Logue, and from the moment I met her, she seemed like family to me. After a lively conversation, we exchanged contact information and she offered to help trace my own Logue lineage. I am on the hunt now for some documents to send her, and the prospect of tracing my ancestors' path back to Ireland has me delighted and (you guessed it) a little weepy.
Check out the writer's museum here: Kerry Writer's Museum.
As we headed back to the gallery, we admired the Tidy Town workers, busy making streets shine again after the previous day. Listowel is recognized as a "Tidy Town" in Ireland, and it is clearly a well-deserved title. Bands of workers in reflective vests with little carts are up early in the morning, working behind the scenes while others sleep. My hat's off to these folks, who joyfully clean up what evening revelers have left behind. I wish the Tidy Town brigade would come to south Florida.
The day was busy tidying our own space after the prior night's show, sweeping up the last whisper of flowers from the garden now puddled on the floor. A bevy of folks on holiday streamed through the gallery all afternoon, seeking a print to remind them of the beach at Ballybunion.
The evening was spent at John B Keane's for Pub Theater, my very last Pub Theater night for this month. Now I could regale you with the incredible poetry, theater, music and comedy which filled our hearts and lifted our voices in song. I could say again how deeply Diane and I have come to respect and appreciate the spirit of Ireland reflected in these nights, and how simultaneously joyful and teary they make us.
But you've heard all this before.
There is something else that goes on at Pub Theater, equally remarkable.
Behind the counter last night were two lads, Laney and Mamie, I believe both granddaughters of John B Keane. Always smiling, engaging, with shop face on no matter how large or unruly the crowd. We watched them juggle empty glasses and full, orders and euros, criss-crossing each other behind the bar in a well choreographed dance all night. They never forgot an order and the smiles never left their faces. They paused graciously to pose for this picture, then picked up right where they left off in a glorious pub ballet. Though they are behind the scenes on Pub Theater night, they keep the night flowing smoothly and patrons content. I believe John B would be so proud of them.
I'll miss these nights and the stellar folks that make it happen. But with ballads and poetry tripping lightly through my head, and treasured CDs from Mickey MacConnell stashed in my bag, I am ready to take a bit of magic home with me, enough to hold me over until the next time.
But it's only Friday! Not time to leave yet. We're off to the farmer's market and an Irish breakfast at the local bakery, where we've been told "Beans on Toast" is the way to go.