‘tweeners and a return to the Marlfield House

In basketball a ‘tweener is someone that is big and strong enough to play forward and agile and quick enough to play guard. The best example of a ‘tweener would have been Magic Johnson of the hated LA Lakers.

My daughter, Colleen, is a ‘tweener.

She is Irish and she is an American. A powerful mix.

She returns to Boston today and I suspect that her heart is lovingly excited.

Last night Mary, Colleen and I went to the Marlfield House for dinner. The Marlfield House is an elegant Regency mansion owned and run by the Bowe family just outside of Gorey in County Wexford.

It was about twenty-five years ago that I last experienced this oasis of tranquility. After being entertained and hosted by the Purcells and the Quigleys I invited all, including Mary’s mother and father, to join Mary and I for dinner. The meal was delicious, the conversation passionate, the drinks heroic and the tab astronomical. No worries, that’s why you carry the American Express card…right? …and I might add, who reads the fine print on menus, especially when it says cash and checks only?

When the waiter presented the bill, I painfully reviewed the details and total due then gave him my credit card. He said “sorry Mr. Carney we do not accept credit cards”. Panic set in. I quietly whispered to him that I had no cash or check book and I just couldn’t ask my family to bail me out. He said he would consult with the owner and return shortly. Mrs. Bowe graciously asked me to join her in the smoking lounge and told me to post a check to her at my convenience.  Happens all the time in America…right?

Relieved, I returned to the table and soon after to the smoking room.

In front of the fire sitting on a leather couch was a distinguished looking gentleman.  I felt relieved  from my debt and sat down beside him.  I asked if he was American and followed up with what did he do back home?  He replied “I’m one of the owners of the New York Yankees but we’re about to sell the team to George Steinbrenner”.   I was speechless.  The dreaded Yankees … and I was sitting and having a cigar with Mr. Burke a major investor in the Bronx Bombers…a night to remember.

Last evening after our meal Colleen asked Mary and I what our best day of this recent stay, to date, in Ireland had been.  I  quickly to replied… my day at the Leopardstown races…Mary’s was John’s arrival.

Dinner at the Marlfield House

Clonegal is about an hour’s drive away and it was about 11:00pm when we ran into a Garda road block.  “Where are you from?” he asks…I nervously reply “Boston but live’ …turning to Mary and Colleen…in Clonegal”…not even pronouncing it correctly…’where have you been?’….’the Marlfield House’ I say… all the while up close and personal trying to smell my breath…thank you Fisherman’s Friend lozenges…as he waved me on with “have a safe trip home”.

As a recent Master’s graduate of Harvard, a new employee of one of the best places in Boston to work… Hubspot… and with her heart  beating a loving rhythm, Colleen is a determined and confident person that challenges us to live life to its fullest.  That is her gift and I accept it.

Irish … American … a powerful mix it is.

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