Ring of Kerry Irish Dancers

preserving the cultural tradition of Irish ceili and set dancing since 1991

News about the RKIDs

June 8, 2020

Is the Pandemic Coming to a Close?

We're Hanging In There and Hoping So

What's Going on Here?

answer below


Jack and Family:
Daughter Caitlin, Jack,
Pete's Wife Meri,
Brother Pete,
their Son Alexander

Being house bound for three months has led many of us to reminiscing. Here is a story from Jack with an Irish twist: My brother, Pete, worked in the late 80s and 90s in Aspen, CO as a journalist for the Aspen Times. Everybody talks about going to Aspen for skiing in the winter, but what most people don't know is that Aspen hosts a great summer classical music festival. My brother covered this event for the Aspen paper and also as a free-lance journalist. Because I had a free place to stay, I visited my brother numerous times during those years, both for skiing in the winter and to attend the music festival in the summer. My big "treat" one summer was getting to meet Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg after her performance. She is a world class violinist and a real character in her own right: The TV show 60 Minutes did a special piece on her and she spent a good part of the interview shooting pool with a cigarette dangling from her lower lip!

Recently, my brother and I were passing the time by reminiscing via e-mail about the Aspen Music Festival. Pete suddenly segued into his interview with world-renowned Irish flautist, James Galway. This is what he wrote: "Yeah, wow about Nadja, who I always enjoyed (very demonstrative on stage) and recently heard her in performance. A friend in Aspen, Ted Lenio, had a local TV show where he interviewed various celebs, and I recall his interview with Nadja because he bought her a tub of her favorite ice cream, which she then proceeded to eat on camera! While writing profile pieces for the Music Festival, I had a phone interview once with James Galway, and he stopped abruptly and said (in his thick Irish brogue), "Peter, are you writing this down?" I stammered, "Yeeaah," and he said, "Well, it's all bloody boring, so go get a tape recorder!" and abruptly hung up. (Galway, a well-known prima-donna, wasn't a favorite among Festival staff, to put it mildly.) Fortunately, Ted was home so I borrowed his recorder, called Galway back, and eventually made $500 from the Tokyo Journal for the Q+A piece…."


Ride On, Kate

For Kate, the pandemic provided a great opportunity to get back up on the horse — well, the bike, that is. Her new neighborhood, Leisure World, has miles of mostly flat routes for bikers. She's taking full advantage of the new house and its location.


Liz and Kevin

Between the Vines
(Liz is standing,
2nd from Left)

The setting was perfect for Liz’s book discussion group. They recently gathered outside at the community clubhouse to discuss a testament to wine written by acclaimed wine guru Terry Theise entitled “Reading Between the Vines” (get it?). Getting into the spirit of things, Liz reported, “We did have masks, but had to remove them for the picture. Plus it’s kind of hard to drink wine through the mask.”


Fishing with
the Grandkids

Kevin continues to spend his time outdoors, too. He took Liz and two of his granddaughters fishing at a nearby pond. Olivia and Fiona loved the adventure with their grandparents.

Robin and Emmett

Tilling the Soil
In the Gazebo
Halfway between Obie and Marilyn's beach house in Bethany and their home in Gaithersburg is  Emmett's  second home. It's a 250 year old house sitting on Main Street in the village of Greensboro, MD (population 2000). There is always work to be done, like building a fire pit, maintaining the bulkhead (the house is on the Choptank River), replacing the fencing, painting the shed, cutting down a dead ancient tree, tilling the soil for a vegetable garden, and on and on. Hospitably, Emmett and Robin took a break from their chores to entertain Obie and Marilyn with burgers and their first corn on the cob of the season, while observing social distancing. Marilyn said, "It was just great to see friends and have some human interaction, and what a nice setting."

Jim C.

New Garden

Jim is like that battery bunny – he just keeps going and going and going. This time he has created a new garden on the side of the house where they get plenty of sun. He planted lots of flowers and vegetables and "painted old cinder blocks with jaunty colors."


Harley (the Dog)
Goes on a Float

Meaghan sent in a nice description of her activities during the pandemic. "I haven't been doing anything too different since I am still working my normal schedule. But now that it's finally nice outside, I have been able to do more fun activities. I've mostly been working on my veggie and herb garden (my first year having one of my own), taking Harley on lots of walks, and going kayaking on the weekends with Keith. We've even been able to take Harley on a short float and she did great!"

Goatee A-Go-Go

Bumper Crop of Whiskers
Hair, Too
Sheltering and social distancing has led some of the RKIDs' men to put down the shavers and let their facial hair sprout. Jim C. says: "There's new stuff growing on my face, too. It used to be red, but now it's mostly white. But why not? Every family needs a Santa Claus."  Along the same lines, Emmett also is sporting long whiskers. Are there any other RKIDs doing the same? Send pix to Marilyn.

Yo, RKIDs!  Now that you've read about how some of us are dealing with it, what have you been up to in this time of historic pandemic that you'd like to share? Drop a line and captioned photo to Marilyn O. and maybe we'll use it in a future edition of Blarney. In any case, we hope this edition inspires you to stay active and connected.

And everyone, please be safe. You know the drill – distancing and frequent hand washing.