The Driscolls lived across the street from us when we first moved to Milton, Massachusetts. They were in their late eighties and were on the go all the time. They had seven children and the youngest was born when Mrs. Driscoll was in her forties, making him about ten years younger than the next. Every year one of the “kids” would give them one of those “dinning books” …the two for one discount kind of deal. The Driscolls took full advantage of the book and traveled to restaurants all over New England. They actually preferred going to places in New Hampshire because they could also buy their booze at the state stores. The Driscolls enjoyed their pre dinner drinks and we enjoyed them.
In their mid nineties they moved to a nursing home in nearby Quincy but before they left they asked us if we wanted any of their furniture because none of the kids wanted it. We were given a beautiful dining table with chairs, several beds and a magnificent credenza. All of which are now in our home in Ireland.
Mrs. Driscoll died when we were in Ireland and we were not notified. Months later, I went to visit George and you could tell he didn’t have too much time left. He warmly greeted me “Hello Dan…how are ya?” We had a great talk and soon after one of his daughters came in and I said my final goodbye to George. She walked me out and then told me this wonderful story about her mother.
“I was taking my mother for a walk about the home and she stops to ask me…’is there a bar in this nursing home?’(They had been living in the nursing home for about 3 years) and I said no ma there’s no bar in this nursing home. A little while later she asked again. ‘Is there a bar in this nursing home?’ No ma, no bar. We continued on our way and she asks ‘Do they have a suggestion box here?’ No ma, no suggestion boxes either. ‘Well they should have a suggestion box here and the first thing I’m going to suggest is they put a bar in.’ Her mother died two hours later.
The family celebrated their lives with a family only party and we were honored to be invited. I brought along pictures of the furniture sittings in Ireland and the “kids” sincerely appreciated my doing so. The youngest son then shared a “dinning out” story about George and Katherine. This time they went to Anthony’s Pier 4 on the water front in Boston. (George is now 91 and his wife is 89) Nice restaurant with a lot of tourists. His son explains that his Dad and Mom enjoyed having a few cocktails before dinner and that the book deals did not include drinks, so they had set up a mini bar in the car and would have their drinks before they went into the restaurant. He went on to say his dad enjoyed the ambiance of the setting while his mother could care less where they parked. This day they parked overlooking the harbor and along came one of Boston finest. He taps on the car window and George rolls it down and the cop asked are you two drinking? Yes we are…and he said would you mind moving somewhere else in the parking lot where no one can see you. They did.
Lack of alcohol will do serious harm to your body and soul.
In my last posting I mentioned that I recently weighed in a 16 stone and that I was going to lose weight. My brother in law and I were talking about losing weight and I told him that when I used to quit drinking for lent I would automatically lose 10-15 pounds just doing that. He said you’re on, let’s quit for the month of February and whoever makes it gets 50 euro. Day 6 today.
I don’t know why I agreed to this. If Paddy Power was laying odds on me I would be sure bet…a sure bet to get sick. Every time I quit drinking I get sick. Right now I have a mother of a cold and it is because it’s day 6 and there is no John Jameson or Arthur Guinness in my blood.
My friend…and I might add…he has many friends and he emphasizes that to be a good friend you really have to work at it. He does and I admire him for that. He was having some health issues and visits with his doctor. Of course one of the first questions he asks is “can I have a drink or two?” She said …” Just to balance things out, you could have a glass of wine with your salad.” My friend’s quick response was “what if I have 6 salads?”
A sample of his work in photography can be found on www.buzzardsbaysounding .com. He is also a fantastic story teller and I rank his story of him delivering Bunny Bread (his summer job) to Cape Cod, the best ever. I will attempt to tell it if I get requests in the comments section of this post or I will not tell it if I get “fuck off…will ya” from him.
In my posting on Venice, I also mention his outlook on people he doesn’t like. Why waste any time on anybody that’s not worth it.
The other day I was in Bunclody, a beautiful village about 6 miles from our house. I had gone to buy the newspaper and cough medicine at the pharmacy. Remember, I’m not drinking. As I was walking to the pharmacy a new Land Rover pulled up front and a man in a hurry got out and brushed by me to get into the pharmacy. He rushed up to the counter and worked his way through several before him. I gently tapped him on the shoulder and ask if his name happened to be Prescott Weathersby the IV. He turned to me and said “What are you talking about my good man?” and I said “Oh, I must be mistaken but after seeing this performance I would have to rank you the #3 arse hole on my list. I turned around and left as he called out to me. I continued out the door.
Now you may ask why #3. Well a long time ago a few friends and I happened onto a fox hunt on an estate somewhere west of Boston. All the riders, men and women, were dressed in their finest J. Crew or whatever was going on in fashion back them. Along the way, butlers handed our hot whiskey to the riders. My friends and I were sitting in the library in front of a roaring fire drinking the hostess’s finest booze. Save one, he was playing the piano. He knew three cords and made up songs. The more he drank the dirtier and funnier the songs got. The women loved him. Into the library comes a man in his late thirties, well dressed and with a gorgeous girl and introduces himself as Prescott Weathersby the III. My friends and I were most impressed. Right. After a while he says “that guy doesn’t know how to pay the piano and for that matter he doesn’t look like he belongs.” I said “Excuse me, I think his piano playing is inspiring so why don’t you just fuck off” Oh my, was he upset “Don’t you know who I am?” and I said yes “you’re the 2nd biggest arse hole I have ever met.” I don’t know if he was disappointed or going to take a swing at me but he then said…can you believe this…who’s number 1? I said … I haven’t met him yet. He left and his trophy girl friend sat down next to my friend on the piano bench.
I know I can be a real arse hole…I know some people think I’m are real arse hole and my wife says “dear, you’re not an arse hole…at least when you’re sleeping”. Irish wit ya know and she really doesn’t call me dear.
Thank God February has only 28 days. I can hear Arthur and John calling me now.