Billy McComiskey said it best, “This was magical,” after a rollicking evening of Irish set and ceili dancing at McCathran Hall on a recent Saturday evening in October. The Fall Blackthorn Ceili, organized and managed by Obie, featured three great musicians, Joe DeZarn (fiddle), Billy McComiskey (accordion, including his classic Paolo Soprani instrument), Matt Mulqueen (keyboard), and the renowned caller, Marilyn Moore.
McCathran Hall Swings: Bonfire Dance
Quickly getting the juices flowing, the evening began with the Bonfire Dance and the Siege of Ennis. Following them were the lively Merchant Set, the North Kerry, ending with the Clare Lancers after several others in between. Kate arranged the food for the potluck dinner in her usual fine and efficient style. Billy McComiskey also commented on the great meal! It was a grand evening full of fun, laughter, camaraderie, and dance — good craic! Thanks go out to all the workers who helped set up and clean up, and to Dave and Carol who always make the whole thing possible by sponsoring the ceili in the town of Washington Grove. More photos are here.
If you want a Guinness Stout from the source, you have to go to Ireland. The homeland is the only place on earth where this traditional beer is brewed. However, if you want to try some new Guinness beers, including Blonde, produced by an experimental brewery, you only have to go as far as BWI airport. Just 4 miles from the entrance to the airport, the Guinness Open Gate Brewery stands on the grounds of the old Maryland Distilling Company.
Nineteen hardy RKIDs visited the site recently. Rebecca, our tour guide, led us through a hallway with photos to help explain the history of Guinness and the process they use in producing their world famous brews. We saw several shiny silver tanks where the beer goes through the brewing process. They even divulged the secret invention for enabling a good heady pour from canned Guinness Draught. Finally, we settled down to a serious tasting of several types of Guinness. No one could agree on a favorite, but several samples received rave reviews.
After a lengthy tasting, Chuck, Maureen Kn, Evan, Colleen, Emmett, Robin, Megan D (a new member), Christine, Marilyn O, Mary, Toni, David D, Jerry, Emma, Michelle, Jack, Maddy, Bill, and Obie dined and continued to sample the intriguing variety of malty beverages in the 1817 Restaurant, which is part of the facility. A final stop at the gift shop sent everyone home with some mementoes — a favorite item being a diminutive glass they used for the tastings. Colleen had a pour that included her face in the head's foam. Thanks go out to Obie who planned the well-organized trip. To see more pictures, Visit Here.
After spending 14 days on safari in Southern Africa last May (see Blarney, June 7, 2019), Bill and Maddy joined forces to create a 51-minute video full of exciting photography. Previously, many of those who attended the REELaxing at the Beach weekend in September saw it. On Sunday, Oct. 27, Connie, Christine, Judy, Mary B, Nancy, Dan M, Jim K, Maureen K, Kate, Marilyn O, Obie, Sandy, and guests, Ron, Jim C, and Barbara C, gathered to view a second screening. The couple used background music sung by the camp staff that had been recorded live and other natural sounds from the various places where they visited. Maddy narrated the movie with colorful text written by the two. “She could get a job doing voice-over,” raved someone in the audience. A lively Q & A session followed. Out of the 17 people present, 10 had been to southern and eastern Africa and talked about their own very interesting experiences at length. All of them couldn’t say enough about how wonderful it was.
Recently, Marilyn and Obie escaped from the DC area for a quick trip to Kure Beach, North Carolina. This tiny seaside village is just a few minutes south of Wilmington, but it seems miles away from congestion. They visited long-time friends, enjoyed the sandy beach, walked on the fishing pier, bought new purple t-shirts, and toured a nearby Opera House. A nice respite!
It has been said that you can't turn back time...but it sure is fun to try! A couple of weeks ago Maddy and Bill caught up with some of Maddy's former high school classmates at a reunion in Pennsylvania. The gathering was such a blast from the past that she even ran into neighborhood "kids" with whom she played when she was as young as six. Amazing how some of those youthful faces still shine through today.
After a couple years of upheaval, Evelyn and Tim have settled into a darling house in Kingsport, Tennessee, and are getting used to the quiet life. They have joined local churches and are finding their way about town. As usual, Evelyn is making a splash in her new locale. The local library recently displayed Evelyn’s book, Closed Shades and Locked Doors: A Mother’s Memoir of Living With Her Adult Child With Mental Illness. It’s available on Amazon.com.