Posted by Butch on October 18, 2000 at 19:53:32:
I awoke the next morning to a bitter cold day, my bedroom window covered with frost ,and my breath in streams of steam . I had to go to school . Park national school some ten miles away . My brother comes in the front door " jaysus you'd bettor be carefull out there to-day" he says" the road is like a feckin bottle" .Reluctant to leave the warm kitchen, one boiled egg two cups of tea ,marmalade , bread,the news by Charles Mitchell ,our que to go. Hats coats, scarves, gloves where are the gloves? Outside , the ford prefect stands in the cold IZ-6703 whatyou say?" idid'nt say i zed" .Pouring warm water in the radiator . then inserting a long iron handle with a a short cross pin on one end thro a hole at the bottom of the radiator into the innards of the engine to latch onto something functional ,and grasping with some anxiety the other end of the rod at the rig angled handle and turning quickly while the old man would push specific buttons to start the engine, if it did'nt start then it was the choke too much choke!.A couple of mins. while the car is warming up , i check the, road sure enough, like glass . We make our way thro town to pick up Paddy Quinn and Pady Golden right at the corner where chapel st. and newantrim st. converge .There's a small shop there . We head off taking the right fork onto the turlough rd , All is well as the old man drives with caution upon this frosty cold morning in Co Mayo.Headmaster Paddy Golden lights his pipe and headmaster Paddy Quinn his cigarette and conversation is in full swing as we come around the second last corner which precipitates a steep hill sloping DOWN into and prior to the village of Turlough, the car performs a compleate three hundred and sixty degree turn facing the same direction it had been going prior to it's pirouette. We dropped off Paddy Quinn at the Turlough National School and nobody had said a word, save for the wheezing of the pipe , the glow of the cigarette,the sound of the air and the smoke rushing by the partially opened right passenger window, the silence was audible!. Pulling over to the other side of the road and down a bit past the pumps past the pub. we now pick up Mrs. Gilliard full of enthusiasm and life ,and her son Gerry my age and tougher. Making a right hand turn a bit down the road up a steep right angled turn past the Round Tower now overlooking the road and countryside below and the magnificent hall of Turlough . I'm in the old man's class now, too nervous to be of any use Mrs. Gilliard's efforts were all exhausted and i was graduated into the real world . Punished by the master in front of everybody for going up to Rowley's shop with Christy Lawlor before lunch. Anyway, na bac leis, a knock came on the door while the old fella was tuitoring his pupils on the correct usage of the verb" to see" as the errant young Flynn could'nt get it into his head the fact that " I seen it sir " was incorrect and that' I saw it " was, The headmaster went to answer the door ann afarmer had come to see if anybody HAD SEEN his stray heiffer and up pops the errant Flynn exclaiming " I SEEN IT SIR " as the old man turns around to glare at him ,ah, country lads tough as nails , could'nt come to school sometimes ,had to work on the farm , had to bring cattle to the fair , walk to school maybe two three miles , well mannered ,very superstitous, love to tell ghost stories to the townie, from townships with strange names, thro small boreens , Back at the school the girls were playing in the back and the boys in the front i was having lunch with the headmaster and Mrs. McHale inside when he said "Sush i can't hear anything " he jumped up and went outside a few mins.later he came back in, he said" I knew something was wrong , i could'nt hear anything, there was a fight !. He said " i could hear the silence"!.
Winter dragged on . Granny Daly churning butter in the sculery . " When icicles hang by the wall, And Dick the shepard blows his nail, And Tom Moran bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood be nipped and ways be foul, then nightly sings the staring owl , To-Whit! To- Who! -a merry note While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the doth blow,And coughing drowns the parsons saw , And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Mary Magnolia's nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,Then nightly sings the staring owl, To-Whit! To-Whit-To-Who!- a merry note ,While greasy Joan doth keel the pot." : W.S.(1564-1616). " Onwards we go caring not a care , Onwards my friends , Onwards onwards onwards, to victory and glory for the 39th. ": J.L. circa 1966. As Halloween slipped thankfully by without to much damage and Mrs, Fadden's gate was duly exchanged for Mr's Carney's gate , no shots were fired ,and the druids were relogated to the back of the bus till next Samhain. Preparations for Christmass were being made inside the minds of boys and girls as anticipation only fueled the fire-real fires burning ,in hearths cleaned of yesterday's ashe's, rolled up newspapers in balls on the bottom, maybe a log fire to -night ,crackling, spitting sparks, roaring, or go out and bring some turf in from the shed ,A half ton of coal was dropped off by a black man from Mulloy's to-day , put some slack on the fire and damp it down for the night . Mamy's not feeling well keep the fire going in her room and Kath'ys down with a bad dose of the flu, lucasade, hot coca ,bovril , ovaltine . vicks, " Put your coat on before you go out you'l catch your death of cold " Ballyclava, Ballyvary ,Ballyheane, Ballylama.
Oiche mait, Butch
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