My Life A Bit South of Normal

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Packing Up and Making Friends

Having been put in her place by Terse Jackson, Barbara had no choice but to pack her bags and head north. She knew better than take a chance on losing the rights to his stories. The polls the studio had conducted on the eagerness for movies made on Terse's bestsellers were unreal. She would never work in the film world again should it be known that she was the one who lost that golden goose for the studio.

Her last stop, on the way out of town, was The Starlight Cafe. She felt she needed to speak to Walter. No need making enemies. As soon as she walked in the door he came from behind the counter to greet her. "Good mornin' 'Miss' Barbara what can I get ya'? We have some fresh blueberry muffins." She politely turned them down and told him she was just in to say goodbye and tell him how much she had enjoyed her stay in Gallagher.

"You know for a little town, you certainly have some interesting characters."

"Yes, mam. And we are proud of all them, warts and all." Walter responded knowing her statement was not a compliment. Mae handed Walter a bag containing 3 blueberry muffins which he handed Barbara. "Here, take this for your trip home. I know you'll get hungry sometime."

She thanked him and told him goodbye. Mae rushed from behind the counter,"Remember if you need anyone in a movie and you think I would be good for the part, just call me. You can get me here most the time." She laughed and pointed toward the bag in Barbara's hand. "The number's on the bag. Remember, I'm Mae. . ."

Before Mae could complete her sentence Barbara said,"I remember, spelled M - A -E." She waved goodbye and left.

Mae turned to Walter. "I think she likes me. You just wait, I'm gonna be in a movie show."

"Sure you are," said Walter in a dismissive tone, as he turned went back toward the kitchen.

Mike, thrilled to know Sam was back in town, called him and suggested they meet at Dot's for old times. Sam thought it was a great idea. They decided on 5:30 later that same afternoon. Sam laughed,"That way when we get ready for supper, we can make our way to Ed's for a burger."

Mike, also laughing, added,"That is - if we can still find Ed's." Sam agreed and they rang off.

Mike called Pearce. This was a good time to introduce him to the crew. Knowing he was Irish, no doubt he drank . . . and probably a lot. Pearce appreciated the invitation and said he would meet them at 5:30. Telling him how to get to Dot's was fairly easy. They rang off.

Next he called Bunny and told her to rally anyone else she knew. She made sure Vivian knew the plans and would call Terse. Bunny called. Bob hoping he and Parker were on board. Bob's comment was, "Since when have we turned down such an invitation."

Ike knew it was going to be a fun night when Mike, Bunny, Della, and Sam walked in at 5:30. Thrilled to have Sam back, he came from behind the counter to shake his hand. "Man, I'm glad you're back."

"Ike, man I missed you about as much as anyone." Ike just chuckled. Sam continued, "No one else I know, can make a decent dirty martini like you can. I have been looking forward to one of your martinis and Della." He laughed,"Well not exactly in that order."

Everyone spoke to Ike. By not saying anything else, Ike knew they each wanted their 'regular' - at least for the first round. When Pearce walked in, Mike got up and met him at the bar. Pointing toward Ike, Mike said, "Pearce, this is the best damn bartender on earth. Whatever you do, don't piss him off."

"Well, that's pretty serious orders," said Pearce in his Irish brogue shaking Ike's hand.

"Ike, this is Pearce Phinnigan, Gwendolen Fitzgerald's son."

Ike smiled broadly and offered Pearce his hand that Pearce shook, "Son, your mama was one of the prettiest young things that ever came out of Gallagher. Your Daddy was one lucky man. Is she still in Ireland?"

"No sir, I'm afraid she passed."

"I'm so sorry to hear that." Ike shook his head. "She could put down some fine bourbon and hold up longer than any young man around." Ike smiled. "There were few that I let drink before they were old enough. But she was one of them. She never caused any trouble. Of course her daddy knew where she was. Unbeknownst to them, I always got permission from their folks first."

Mike spoke up."Well, you'll be happy to know that Pearce has bought Cre Uisce Aer and is about finished restoring it."

Ike pulled a bottle of Midleton Whiskey (a rare aged Irish whiskey) from under the counter. "Well that is good news. If I remember, that was one beautiful place." He poured 2 fingers of the whiskey into a glass and handed it to Pearce. "Welcome home son. I knew I was holding this for someone."

"Oh, fantaiseach!" said Pearce as he took a sip. Looking at Ike and Mike, he added, "fantastic."

This is the beannacht cócaireacht, ginearálta." He laughed, "The holy drink, it is so smooth."

"Well it is here for you." said Ike with a smile.

"I'm glad to be here." Pearce thanked Ike and he and Mike joined the group at the table.

Mike made the introductions. Naturally the conversation turned to his Pearce's life and Cre Uisce Aer. They found both fascinating. Having grown up knowing it was there, to most of them it was a large old estate, enshrouded with mystery and wild stories about Pearce's uncle.  

Bunny, on her second Mai Tai, asked Pearce, "What is the story about your uncle?"

"Bunny!" said Della, almost embarrassed at Bunny's question.

Pearce laughed,"It's no secret." He told the story, making it extremely humorous. He ended the tale with, "And that is how my Uncail Faolan lost his fortune."

Vivian laughing with the rest of them said, "Well, at least he had a great story."

Terse asked, "So, are you planning to live here?"

"Go hionraic, I didn't plan to stay."

Bunny laughed,"Go what?"

Pearce laughed,"Honestly." He continued, "But the more I stay, the more at home I feel."

"Great," said Terse raising his glass. "Welcome to Gallagher."

Bunny still baffled asked,"But who is going where? I'm confused."

"OK, I'll be the first to ask," said Vivian. "When do we get the grand tour?"

Pearce smiled, "I would love to show you Cre Uisce Aer, she is my labor of love. Give me a few weeks to get it finished and furnished and I'll have everyone out for dinner."

Della smiled, "That would be super."

They looked up to see Bob, Parker, Kathleen, and Jab approach the table. Mike introduced Pearce and told him that Kathleen and Jeb were getting married in several weeks.

Pearce standing said, "Congratulations. How are the pleananna bainise coming along?" Realizing, once again he had thrown another Gaelic term in, he apologized, "Wedding plans." Everyone chuckled, knowing the wedding was Dixie's dream come true. As Ike was serving the 4 new friends drinks, Kathleen said,"You really don't want to know."

Bob leaned in, "Oh, yes we do."

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