sounds of yesteryear

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Posted by Butch on October 17, 2000 at 20:49:55:

I was a young gasur then and always on my way home from visiting my cousins , Danny , Rebbeca, Patti, Timmy, and James (jacser) in the millitary barrack s leaving by the back gates, by the rivers edge crossing the bridge, crossing to the other side. Wrought iron gates leaning , Wrought iron over" the wall of music",and the house set way back. The wall four foot high,fifty feet long, topped by a six inch slope at a forty five degree angle and polished like marble. Grabing a stone of similar width,placing it on the slope firmly and like a bow over strings, i run to the other end sliding the stone, the wall would answer back with a musical sound that you could only describe as melodic, and leaving the rock for the next muscian!.A nd so i continued my journey homewards. I'll go by way of Lucan St. there's a shop there and people always leave the top half of their door open so i can gawk in ( not so but i do) it's tea time , and of course there always the chance that i might run into Nacker Gannon i can still see him at the back of Birdy Damiens class with all his jewels hanging out and and the lads doubled up in stitches . En memoriam, Brother Damien for three years tried unsuccessfully to tame the rowdy ruffians of fourth class St, patricks National at the barracks location after the fire ! Albeit the nicest man in the world he did'nt deserve us . He snapped his fingers in the most unusual manner please take note ; make a fist out of your left hand facing the knuckles upwards and now placing the middle finger of your right hand between the third and middle fingers of your left fist AND NOW by placing the index finger of your right hand over the middle finger of the same hand with a force of forty gees and in a downward trajectory with a velocity of two rues a snaping sound! will be made and all the boys will fall down, mar ea. The peace and tranqulity of the classroom in the military barracks was often shattered by the sounds! of rifle fire as the soldiers of the 18th. battallion practised on the range below and we would fall out of our seats in mock combat mortally wounded and Birdy would bringus back to our senses with asnap. Now leaving blotting paper and ink wells , nibs scratching on copybooks and chalk screeching on blackboards. Emerging from the quiet isolation of Lucan St onto the mainstream of town it's getting dark , windy, shops are closing for the day . motercars , and bicycles , people walking ,talking ,briskley, is it going to rain i wonder? One Christmas was so much like another in those years around the river, lake ,sea -town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep that i can never rember whether it rained for six days and six nights when i was twelve or whether it rained for twelve days and twelve nights when i was six !. D.T. '54. Durcans Dog bit me once when itried to pet it. Ouch!. Linenhall St. my mind seeing the bangers sizzeling in the pan big bowl of mashed in the middle of the table and a trolley of brown gravy oh yea, peas, please peas me oh yea . Passing by the Town Hall i can hear the sounds of the Orchestra warming up for the Pantomime H.M.S. Pinafore .I can see my Mother along with Rosemary Carney in the first violin section all decked out in evening dresses it's Sunday night full house flutes ,drums , cellos, bass tenor , clarinets, 2nd violins ,More carneys rember the bass cellist Rose Tempus , she had eyes like Marty Feldman , percussions Brass, all tuning now roisin on the bow , piano ,notes flying every where, discordant bagpipers cacaphony before melody .The Conducter . Fr. shannon. While the band is warming up (er the orch.) lets go backstage small room stage right men in drag putting on make up yikes! loud talk nervous the chorus up the steps hustle and bustle , There's the old man and Andy Mc Tigue . The chorus girls pretty in pink and rouge . The props are in place . The head peeking around the curtain, a hush falls over the audience.the tap of the baton . Music swells, curtain rises exit Butch stage left. It's cold back out on linenhall st. but wonder of all it's snowing! white flakey powder transforming all to a winter wonderland irun across the st. now .eager no time to lose if i blink the snow will be gone nope it's still there past Rockybottems and knock on the door of my friend Hugh O' Malley we wer'nt great friends but good friends off we set to Stabawl passing by MCgowans petrol pumps .We stood at the foot of the hill reaching up to the top of stobal some five hundred feet away at an alarming incline It was packed, the snow had been falling at asteady rate dry powdery flakes oh rarity ! and tobogans were flying down the hill everywhere we climbed over the stone wall and over the hillock that acted as a buffer , slowing the sleds . Sliping and sliding, out of breath, we made it to the top of the hill. Turning around, though it was dark everything was clear from the street lights way below ,The Co.home looming like a dark castle in the abyss. The town of Castlebar stretched away for forever the snow swirling about ."Look Hugh it's Henry Downes" sure enough there was Henry the perpetual grin on his face no ghasur he towing the bonnet of a car with him musha sure he saw us coming," want to go for a ride" he grinned and with that we got in. "Ready" says Henry gave us a push and we took off! looking back we were lucky that there was nobody in the way or anybody that got out of the way was blessed as we flew down the hill like the speed of a bullet past startled toboganers , no control , hearts in our mouths , too late , hitting the gully before the buffer , become airborne, crashing headfirst into the stone wall. Both of us were knocked out as people and nurses from the Co. home were summoned and came to our aid .We came to, shortly, and taken by stretcher to the" home" .Hugh had ten stitches put in his hand and both of us were taken to the Co. hospital by ambulance for obsvervation for concussion and later released i'm not sure how i got home that night i think i got a lift from Henry Downes my head is still ringing!!. Slan Butch.

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