Saturday, September 17, 2016

Day 2: Wine and Cheese Reception

The beginning of our Clan adventure started Friday night at JJ Crowley's pub with a wine and cheese reception. JJ himself welcomed us, and was followed by Michael Patrick, the Clan Chieftain. One hundred fifty Crowleys were crammed into the reception room and enjoyed drink and nibbles. Billy had already connected with Michael Patrick, and he was so excited to meet us.

Michael Patrick
JJ, Pub owner
At one point, he dragged us both out the back door so he could smoke and we began to share stories about how we were related. Quickly, he was pulled back into the hall to make more speaches. We promised to get caught up. He was the other amazing historian who wrote an extensive Crowley history book.

We stayed as long as we could stand the crowd, and after all the speeches, and headed out to have dinner. We had an eight o'clock reservation at O'Connor's, who were famous for Bantry Bay mussels. We had a delicious meal, and Billy worked the room like a seasoned politician. He chatted with all the Crowleys there, and absolutely lit up with joy. He was the happiest I had seen him in many years.

We headed back to JJ's after dinner, to drink, sing and dance with all the Crowleys. Larry Crowley played banjo on stage with his partner (I didn't get his name) on guitar. They sang Irish tunes, and after much drinking, we all danced up a storm. My feet, ankles and legs became so swollen, I had to get prone. We were pretty drunk when we headed back to The Maritime, but the evening ended with a nightcap in our hotel bar with JJ and a few other Crowleys. This night was a great introduction to what would be a very full weekend.

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