Revisiting Dooneen

This morning I received an email from the WordPress blog: Roaringwater Journal.

The new post from Finola was a revisit of her from a previous post highlighting a place close to my heart. Dooneen, Kilcrohane, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Reading thru her post, my time and life there has been brought to the front again. I want to share some images from that place. Thank you Finola!

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Mary Grant,Dooneen, 2007

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Mary and Donal Grant built this home at the end of Donal’s life. When they moved to Ireland initially, they lived in a cottage that is still there. Their original home is now lived in by the Muschenheim family, Art and Gunie.

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The view from the original cottage.

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The most recent home, Now named “Dooneen Pier” after the pier at the bottom of the lane that is on Dunmanus Bay. This was our home for some part of 4 years.

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Jerimiah,Jer Daly and Liz Daly. Caretakers of the Dooneen home. Jer is mentioned in the book White Goats and Black Bees many times. Jerimiah’s family farm bordered the property that Mary and Donal purchased in the 60’s.

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Jerimiah

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Chloe and Maggie Carr at the lane leading up to our home.

Goats, Bees and Spies – Redux

Roaringwater Journal

The farm at Dooneen

This post was first published in October 2013. Since then I have found more material, so have decided to update it.

The non-fiction book, White Goats and Black Bees by Donald Grant is set on the Sheep’s Head. Donald and Mary Grant, a couple of journalists based in New York, impulsively decided to jump off the career treadmill and become farmers in Ireland in the 1960’s. They bought a small acreage on the Sheep’s Head, where they raised goats and ducks, cultivated an enormous vegetable garden, and by degrees and sheer hard work turned themselves into ‘peasants’.

This out-of-print book was drawn to my attention by my friend, Aideen, whose father, while in New York, had encouraged the Grants to consider West Cork. Aideen visited the Grants as a young woman and still has memories of their gorse wine.

Dooneen, on the Sheep’s Head – this…

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The Secret Garden

leia thompson

The Secret Garden

This has been growing, with out water for over 8 months. I have photographed it various

times for various reasons. This is the Swan Song of Images of this Spud. Too bad Bud, but

we’re done! Next? Maybe an editorial about the Secret Garden, a fashion story.

Camp Promise

This past summer I had the opportunity to volunteer at a summer camp hosted by Camp Promise (www.camppromise.org) in Empire Colorado. The camp is for people of all ages with neuromuscular diseases and muscular dystrophy, and is provided free of charge. (http://www.jettfoundation.org) Camp Promise is staged at Rocky Mountain Village-Easter Seals Camp on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.The campers are given an opportunity to be with friends and other boys at the same place in life and to go all out, be big and joyful and expressive.My responsibility was to document as much as I could of the experience for 5 days from morning to the end of the day, every day. Here is a small journal in image and testimony from various participants and volunteers.

CampgroupCamp Promise Rocky Mountains, 2015

“Camp Promise is great! I like getting to hang out with all my friends and meet lots of new people.”

“To spend time with friends who have similar challenges.”

“To be with people who understands what the camper’s going through. And more importantly have fun.”

“I love being with my friends who share my life challenges. Give and take is part of what life is all about. We support each other and this is a chance to do that while having fun.”

“Camp means the world to me, I enjoy doing whatever I can to make camp an experience unforgettable for all the boys.” – Chad, volunteer counselor

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“For an entire week Luke does not have to worry about all the things he can’t do, but gets to look forward to all the things he will do with friends in the Duchenne community.” – Chad, Luke’s dad

“It means I get to have adventures with some of my best friends for an entire week.” – Luke, 7 year old camper

 “To enjoy fishing and other activities.”

Links to more information

http://www.camppromise.org

http://jettfoundation.org

www.romitofoundation.org/

He asked me to pay it forward….

Erick Hornack

Eric Hornak, Denver,Colorado ©ejcarr/ejcphoto.com 2015

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind
action leads to another. Good example is followed.
A single act of kindness throws out roots in all
directions, and the roots spring up and make new
trees. The greatest work that kindness does to
others is that it makes them kind themselves.
~ Amelia Earhart

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In Search of a Traditional Irish Pub

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Eileen Lehane @Fitzpatricks Kilcrohane, Co. Cork, Ireland  ©ejcarr/ejcphoto.com 2015

The Lost Art of the Irish Pub

By STEVEN KURUTZ

For a half-Norwegian guy from Long Island, Bill Barich knows a thing or two about Irish pubs.“A good pub is a place devoted to conversation, with drink as the lubricant,” Mr. Barich said oneevening last week. “In an American bar, the minute you finish your drink they say, ‘Do you wantanother?’ You’d never see that in a good pub.”

As it happened, he was drinking a pint of Bass and holding forth on the topic at the Kinsale Tavern, an Irish pub on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Mr. Barich, a writer, spent much of his adult life in California and set several of his books there,among them the horse racing classic “Laughing in the Hills.” But for the last eight years he haslived in Ireland, and the Kinsale felt like familiar turf.

“A great many pubs in Dublin would look like this,” he said, noting the numerous TVs tuned to soccer and the piped-in music. In fact, Mr. Barich has been in a great many pubs in the last two years, researching his new book,“A Pint of Plain” (Walker, $25), a rumination on Irish pub culture, if not a travelogue by way ofthe barroom. The book, his eighth, grew out of Mr. Barich’s own search to find a good local pubnear his home in Dublin, a personal goal that might seem to rank low on the difficulty scale in a country that has nearly 12,000 pubs and where Guinness was once promoted as a source of nutrition.

But finding a pub with the same low-key atmosphere and traditional décor as Pat Cohan’s, the country pub in John Ford’s film “The Quiet Man,” proved elusive. An early candidate, R. McSorley & Sons, had “a musty dignity that spoke of permanence,” as Mr. Barich writes, and antique bric-a-brac on the walls. But soon after he became a regular the pubwas sold and given a slick makeover by new owners, who told Mr. Barich that the old decorations were phony anyway — purchased for nostalgic effect.

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And so it went. Some pubs were unresponsive to foreigners, or “blow-ins.” Others doubled as pickup spots or resembled sports bars, with 24-7 TV coverage replacing the joys of idle banter, pickup spots or resembled sports bars, with 24-7 TV coverage replacing the joys of idle banter.

Mr. Barich’s fascination with what he calls “fairy tale Ireland” surely complicated matters; the interior of the fabled Pat Cohan’s, which for many represents the quintessential Irish pub, was built on a Hollywood soundstage. But his hunt also revealed how Irish pub culture is changing with the society around it.

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In years past, a pub was a family-run business, and the publican more than likely lived upstairs—an arrangement that created an intimacy across the bar. “A good publican is a person with character, concerned about the welfare of patrons,” Mr. Barich said. That a barman could aspire to one day own a pub himself made for a system of dues paying that also resulted in better service. But with trophy pubs now commanding as much as $8 million, a shift has been made to partnerships or corporations that may own and manage several bars. At the same time, more Irish are drinking wine, and drinking at home or in restaurants, chipping away at the socialrelevance of pubs.

The changes are most pronounced in the countryside, where verdant fields gave way to suburban sprawl in a period of rampant economic growth (now considerably tamed) known as the Celtic Tiger. The farmers who once treated rural pubs as community centers are selling off their fields, or else being frightened away from the barstool by strict drunken driving laws. “The loss of those country pubs signifies a huge change,” Mr. Barich said.It’s a transformation other Irish natives have noticed. Larry Kirwan, who sings in the New York based Irish rock band Black 47, said his hometown, Wexford, 85 miles south of Dublin, has more than 50 pubs, “and there’s only one where I can find that old tradition.”

The pub, Mary’s Bar, is basically one room and was run until recently by a now-deceased publican who was known to break out a harmonica and lead impromptu sing-alongs. In pubs like Mary’s, Mr. Kirwan said, “there’s almost a Talmudic sense of rules and conventions to be observed.” Chief among them is not getting overly plastered. “Nobody wants drunks in Irish pubs because they’re boring,” he said, “and the last thing you want to be called is boring.”

Instead, traditional pubs foster warmth and fraternity.

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“For the couple of hours that you’re in there,” Mr. Kirwan said, “you mesh with this communityand your personal troubles are shed.”It’s these qualities that have made the Irish pub such a popular global export. You can scarcely goanywhere without seeing a Paddy Reilly’s or a Flann O’Brien’s, the shamrocks on the walls aspredictable as the Guinness on tap.

Some pubs model themselves on the Irish Pub Concept, a program sanctioned by the beverageconglomerate Diageo-Guinness USA that offers tips for authentic replication — for instance,adding “& Sons” to a name to convey history.

After many pints drunk on many barstools over the course of many evenings, Mr. Barich did turnup a few watering holes to rival Pat Cohan’s, notably a pub in Dublin north of the Liffey River andfar from the tourists called John Kavanagh, but better known as the Gravediggers.

Stepping inside, Mr. Barich was met by a wood bar that has been there since the 1830s, and apublican, Eugene Kavanagh, who lives above the business and is so devoted to his pub’s continuedexistence that he had been prepared to put it in a trust if none of his children wanted to take over.(It was unnecessary.)

“It’s not my job,” he told the writer. “It’s my life.”Naturally, Mr. Barich sat down and ordered a pint.

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Originally published in the New York Times 2009