Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day 4: Celebrating with the Clan

Billy meeting Murphy
Our weekend was full of amazing surprises and inspirational events. We are so appreciative to Michael Patrick and Liam for all the wealth of historic information they provided. We learned so much this weekend. Thank you to the Council for providing this unique and wonderful opportunity to feel like a Crowley at an entirely new and much more rooted level.

My back on stage
After our last full day of excursions into the Crowley history, we all ended up at JJ's pub in Bantry once more to raise a pint or a glass, sing and dance the night away. We shared lots of kisses and hugs, and everyone came to say goodbye.

After much internal lamentation, I finally decided I had to fulfill my dream of singing in an Irish pub in Ireland. I could only recall one verse of "One Misty Moisty Morning", (Steeleye Span version), and told Larry Crowley what I wanted to do. He handed me the microphone, and I turned to the crowd.
Nice Picture in JJ's

I can only remember one verse of this song, I said, but if I don't sing in an Irish pub in Ireland once in my life, I'll always regret it. I sung my verse with a modified Irish accent a capella, then said, "Good night, Ireland. Good night Crowley Clan!" It was momentous for me! I promised one Crowley that I would come back in three years having learned the entire song and sing it again. I promised Bradley, who is learning Appalachian banjo and also promised to learn some songs to perform, that I would join him on stage next time. It was a great night, albeit bittersweet.

Our hotel balcony in Bantry
The next morning, we slept in because checkout was at noon. Liam, who was driving us to Dublin, needed the morning to drive folks to Cork, so we were grateful for the time. We enjoyed our last full Irish breakfast in Bantry, gathered are even heavier bags and met Liam in the lobby at the appointed time.

My brother, Billy, saw Michael Patrick outside smoking. He felt the need to apologize for my behavior the day before. You see, I had asked Michael Patrick for a copy of his book, "The origins and history of the O'Crowleys as an Irish Gaelic clan" from the first moment I met him on our arrival. I found out at our last opportunity to receive that book, that they were all gone. I marched right out and interrupted his conversation saying, "Are you telling me all your books are gone? I have asked you for one every day this weekend, and I full expected you to save one for me!" He looked sheepishly at me and agreed I was right. We went right inside the hotel and exchanged contact information. He promised he would mail me a copy this week.

When Billy saw him, Michael Patrick told him he had lent a copy to a woman who decided she didn't want it. He handed that copy to Billy to give me. We laughed. Then I said, "After all that, he could have at least autographed it!" We laughed again. Michael Patrick, I'll bring it with me in three years, and you can autograph it then. Thanks, Cuz. Love you!

Liam asked if we minded if Phyllis and Sean Crowley joined us. They were staying at her grandfather's house in Bandon, next door to where Liam lived. We said of course not. The house was adorable! Billy helped carry out their bags and Cindy popped out to snap pictures of the beautiful red hydrangeas we saw everywhere that we loved and never saw in America. We stopped for lunch on our way to Dublin and never stopped again until we arrived.

At the Blooms Hotel in Dublin's Temple Bar district, we said our sad farewells to Liam with our profound thanks for making this trip an extra special experience. More kisses and hugs all around, and he was gone. Now for the next adventure sans the Crowley Clan.

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