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More Memories at the Irish Village

“Some may own castles on the banks of the Rhine
And hire an orchestra each night at nine-
But richer than I they will never be…
I had a Dad who spent time with me.”

I wish all Dads and Grandpas a most happy weekend. I hope the weather is perfect for outside cooking and eating.

Several months ago, pal Eileen Collins told us that she was, once again, organizing a trip to the Irish Village in Yarmouth. Last year, we went to the old Irish Village on Route 28. This year, we would be at the new Irish Village, just down the road. We knew that the owners had bought a motel called the Gull Wing Estates and updated it before they reopened it as the new Irish Village earlier this spring. I had worked during the morning of May 23. I figured that we wouldn’t be able to get in the motel till about 3 p.m. When I got home from work, Hubby and I ate lunch and then loaded the car with our suitcases. We would be staying five days and four nights.

On the way to our destination, we got off in Hyannis and went to the KMart across from the Cape Cod Mall and then to the “new” Christmas Tree Shop just down Route 132. It was not a good day, cold and gloomy, with light rain showers. As Hubby said, however, “It doesn’t rain inside the stores.” We bought some Fourth of July decorations at the Christmas Tree Shop. We were even around on the hour when the little figurines came out the doors on the clock outside the Christmas Tree Shop while the music played. We hadn’t seen that since our much younger kids were with us. We stopped at D’Angelo’s for subs and at Dunkin’s for coffee and then proceeded to the Irish Village.

As we drove in the parking lot, we saw Eileen Collins bringing in her luggage so we knew where her room was. Hubby went into the lobby and registered. Our room #111 was near the front desk so we found it with no bother. When we walked in our room, we discovered that we had a small sitting room, complete with a pullout sofa and a TV set. We went into the main area and saw a brand new sink, a little fridge, a good-sized TV, and a kitchen cabinet. A little farther in, we saw two double beds. Our window overlooked the outdoor pool area. We hung up our clothes on the rack. While I rested, Hubby went to check out the motel. He came back and told me that the indoor pool was magnificent. He also found the small gift shop. He knew I’d be very happy with this info.

Our dinner meal was not part of the package that evening so we waited until 7 p.m. before we went to the dining area. (The Irish Village feeds bus tours many evenings.) We heard some familiar sounds, the music of the McTeggarts, Mike and Jim, who entertained us so well last year. We met our friends Greg and Sarah Ashe, and sat with them for the evening. There were 15 in Eileen’s group and we all tried to sit close to each other. In addition to Eileen, we went with Greg and Sarah, Mary Scarborough, Kathy Coyne, Marilyn Ferrara, Evie Dunne, Phyllis Hartford, Barbara Sullivan Mary “Sis” Keeley, and Alice Conlon. Mary and Albert “Roy” Crawford stayed with us for a couple of days and had wonderful fun playing “Mexican Train Dominoes.” I tried to follow the “goings-on” but just kept getting more and more confused. I gave up.

Our group had great fun with one of the employees at the Irish Village. Tom McCormack usually seated our group and always enjoyed fooling with us. His quick Irish wit kept us laughing every time he came into the main dining area. One time, our friend Mary needed some water to take an aspirin and asked Tom if he could get a glass for her. Tom came back from the kitchen with a shot glass of water. We roared with laughter. Some of our gals found out that Tom loved fudge. One morning, when they were out shopping, they stopped at the Stage Stop Candy House and bought him some fudge. I am pretty sure that Mary, Barbara, and Alice, our pals from Lower Mills, bought some fudge for him also. He was great fun! We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the new Irish Village. We shopped, rested, slept late (7 a.m.), and then enjoyed the McTeggarts and their Irish music each evening. Several evenings, Mike and Jim even asked our pal Gregory to come to the microphone to sing. They also prevailed upon the bartender to sing to their music. (I understand he has sung on Broadway.) What a pleasant time we had on the Cape!

On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Hubby and I drove to the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton for the annual Memorial Mass of Boston’s County Mayo Association. Fr. Dermot Roache, from the African Mission Fathers in Dedham, was the celebrant of the Mass. Hubby and I were very early so we had our choice of seats upstairs in the meeting room. Pals Paddy and Peggy O’Malley were busy getting ready for the Mass. I went over to say hello to Peggy. Her people live about 10 miles outside Westport where my grandmother was born and where some of my relatives still live. Pal Norah Boyle and her brother John sat in the row in front of us so we had time to chat. (The late Mary Norton and Grace Beath were their sisters.) Mary’s daughter Grace, who was there with her two children, came over to greet us. We saw Austin and Mary O’Malley in the front of the hall. We saw them again after Mass and Hubby took a great photo of them. The hall filled up and volunteers quickly set up more chairs.

After the Mass was over, the volunteers brought out the light lunch. Because I was busy chatting, Hubby brought me a wonderful chicken salad sandwich. (There were all kinds of sandwiches.) I shared a little bit of his desserts. In the middle of eating, I figured I had better pay my dues to the organization before I forgot. My cousins Margie and Janet had already sent their dues in the mail. (Our grandmother Mary Murphy must be so proud that the three of us are members.) On the way out of the center, we sat on the wall circling the center, enjoying the beautiful day. As we looked down at the bricks on the walkway, we saw that one brick had been donated by our friends Tom McCauley and his late wife Margaret (Gavin), from South Boston. Hubby took a photo of the brick. We were so happy that we were able to attend the Mayo Mass this year. Several things spoiled our time in Canton. The Mayo Association’s president Evelyn Fennessey was not at the Mass and I always enjoy speaking with her. She had a good excuse. She was attending the Mayo Convention in Ireland, at Hotel Westport, in my grandmother’s home town. There was a second reason for our being somewhat sad that day. Because we were in Canton, we were not able to attend the Memorial Mass in the Gilman Chapel at Cedar Grove Cemetery. That is always a lovely Mass, especially when the visitors can enjoy the (hopefully) great weather and the beautiful cemetery grounds after the Mass.

As always, Hubby and I enjoy receiving the Castle Island Association’s bimonthly newsletter. Hubby spends so much time walking over at the island that he is very interested in the letter. The current letter mentioned that more than 1,200 people attended the annual Easter Sunrise Mass this year. Fathers Robert Casey and Robert Blaney concelebrated the Mass. CIA Pres. Bill Spain thanked the DCR staff and all the volunteers who helped with the service. He noted that Easter began gloomy, with a threat of rain, but the sun came out before the end of the Mass.

Speaking of Castle Island, Hubby saw a sign at the island saying that “Old Ironsides” would be taken out for a short sail on Fri., June 3, at 9 a.m. to greet the USS Carr that was coming into port that morning. He was over at the island about 8:30 a.m. with his camera in his hands. He came home from the island with a big smile on his face. He had some terrific photos. I checked out his memory card. There were several wonderful ones of the ship itself, without tugs pushing it along on the castle side. Then, Hubby turned around and took some photos of the cannons as they fired their shots of salute to both ships. In one of these photos, he actually caught the fire coming out of one of the cannons. What a great photo! He is so fortunate to have taken that photo at just the right moment.

Often times, Hubby and I will check out Channels 2, 11, and 44 to see if there is anything of interest, especially when the newspaper says “Members’ Favorites.” Last week we saw a program called “Jackie Evancho: Dream With Me.” Jackie’s concert was taped at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL. We were stunned by the wonderful voice that this little girl, age 10 years, has. She sounded like a mature woman. She sang all different types of music—from an excerpt from “The Phantom of the Opera” to Nessun Dorma. Hubby and I just looked at her in wonderment. She is amazing. If you happen to see that her program will be on any of the PBS channels, be sure you watch. You will be as floored as we were by Jackie’s voice.

I loved this adage: “Don’t take yourself so seriously; take what you do seriously!”