Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My once and future life...

South Street Seaport 3\17\82 early morning

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Quakers setting out on the water again...


Well, on the Sixteenth Day of the First Month, I return to what I once did many years ago and for many years. For eleven years of more, I built and raced ( and fished ) Irish Currachs. These boats, an unbroken tradition in Ireland for at least 2,800 are now becoming rarer and rarer in Ireland. Remarkably, the other day, I got an email from New London. They want some. I put them in touch with Monty O'Leary, who taught me to build them. He is coming to America and together we are going to build a bunch of them to race again.
There is a lot of interest in my home meeting and my Quarter in starting up Quaker teems for the racing, and so it looks like, among the boats we are building will be two boats for New York, the George Fox and the Margaret Fell.
More on this soon. North Eastern Quaker meetings interested in joining the project by having us build ye a boat... we estimate the cost at $3,000 per, and I would come and teach the art of rowing them to ye. It is an art, as the boats are very light with a strong weather helm, but can be used in very heavy ocean swells.
Above is a modle of a six oar Kerry Currach or Naomhog (pron. Nave - ohg ). We are building eight oar Naomhogs, 26 foot long, 5 foot beem, aprox. 160 lbs.
I'm simply... chuffed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

An Otway Family Thanksgiving

Ever since the first Otway fell off the boat into the new world, we celebrate Thanksgiving by remembering the story of the first thanksgiving. They youngest child, generally the only one sober enough to speak, tells this story, before joining the adults in a gin and tonic.... Story of the First Thanksgiving.

It was the night before Christmas, and the Pilgrims where feeling a bit peckish, after the long swim from England, the Mayflower having hit an iceberg and sank. Captain Smith ordered the woman and children into the life boats first, as he knew that there were not enough boats for all, an old tradition in the British maritime, only to find they had forgotten the life boats all together. Although they were still in the Themes Estuary and a scant 10 minute swim to Wapping, they decided that as long as they were already wet, they'd go for it and struck out for New York. On the way they talked it over and decided that as long as they were going through all the trouble they might as well swim to Massachusetts so that their grand kids would all be rich New Englanders in stead of poor New Yorkers, and who wanted to live in a city where the Mayor was a bad tempered Dutch guy with a wooden leg who called the place New Amsterdam anyway, so I am getting off the point, it was time for dinner.
So there were Indians there also, John Smith and his wife Pocahontas, because she was tired of her dad chasing her husband John around with an axe every time he made the same old joke "Hey, did the White guys pay the rent yet?".
Christopher Columbus got the place of honor at the head of the table. He was very old at this point, and probably dead, but was such a figure of respect that no one told him, but rather made sure the head of the table was down wind from everyone and they didn't ask Chris to carve the turkey or they'd all starve. The Turkeys were much larger then, as it was a long time ago and they were still evolving from their Dinosaur ancestors, so one or two fed all of New England, and there was still some left to make clothes out of. So, now you know why we pardon a Turkey at the white house every year, then chop its head off and eat it. Happy Thanks Giving to all and to all a good night, after a little Alka-Seltzer
Cheers Lorcan

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not much happening here folks, move along... Amanda's Blog is a good place to go this week...


Well... this nice photo of this fellow was taken by Mudcat's Celtaddict. I think I was singing Mali Dhonn.

Well, I don't have a lot today, but DO check out Amanda's blog on the BIG QUESTION. We Quakers need, often, to think about who we are, and Amanda does a great job of raising the question.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Falling leaves...

Funny thing... there is only one person in my life who ever noticed, or at least told me she noticed, that I saw everything... everything as metaphor. Tonight, another night of dinner alone, oh, some three hundred and sixty some dinners alone generally... Took meself out to celebrate two nice recordings, sitting in the window at Odessa... and watching the leaves fall as winter commenced. I thought of this friend and tried not to see the falling leaves as metaphor. They where like nothing else that fell gently on the air, except, well ... snowflakes... there I was, thinking, and smiling about this friend and metaphors drifted down on the autumn breeze.... thinking about a friend who realized I float along in a world of metaphor.
And I smiled to think of this friend. And prayed that she was smiling as well, about anything.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The End of the Beginning of the End

Well another folk venue bites the dust, well bites. A certain open mike at which I have sung, with a few friends at times... well now they charge to get on stage. That is it. You know, I will play for free, but to be asked to pay to play, not me. It is the end of seeing musicians in New York go from workers to treasured guests, to tolerated, to now, well, used.

So, here we are again... we old folkies... me old folkie? One more place to be drops off the face of the earth. Fewer to no folks to share small happiness or big disappointments, health or illness. Life in New York at 50 in this cold assed century.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Small prayer request...

For those who have been following the cycle of my small throat problems... I'm just entering the gagging and nausious period again ( seems it comes closer together than before... ) and I get a wee bit erasable and whinny so, a wee prayer that I be a little more patient with friends and Friends, would help... thanks ahead of time...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nilist Denial US 2005 - Germany 1945

When I was young, I watched the black and white newsreels of the people who lived near concentration camps being made by armed US soldiers to stack and burry the bodies of the innocent dead killed in their name.

Of late I have heard again and again, US citizens telling me that they did not believe what we are doing in places like Fallujah is evil, is wrong, that it matters not at all that innocent people are being killed. It is time they got their hands as dirty as their souls.

White Phosphorus is being used by the United States forces in Iraq. I have seen the bodies on an Italian TV report. The skin melts, leaving the clothes intact. These reports are not being shown in the United States. What happened in Fallujah, by the use of these weapons, was mass murder.

Alice Mahon stepped down from her seat in parliament after on 13 June 2005, A parliamentary report from the Minister of Defense, admitted that the US used MK77 an incendiary bomb similar to Napalm in Iraq. She would not be part of a government taking part in war crimes. MK77 melts bodies. The US claimed a right to preemptive war against weapons of mass destruction and now unleashes these weapons on the innocent people of a nation that never attacked us.

I have watched film of US soldiers telling each other that a combatant was down and wounded and killing him in violation of the Geneva Convention.

Now some in our nation, many in our nation may say they don't want to know, call those who do know liars. But it is my greatest prayer that these equivalents of the holocaust deniers be invited to stack the bodies as the townspeople of Auschwitz were made to do. There is great damage to the soul done by the denial of evil.

"Your friend Lor's not very fashonable, is he?"

Genie and me, by Erica McDonald

Genie and me, by Erica McDonald
A quote from the young son of Friend John Elfrank... "Dad, your friend, Lor's not very fashonable, is he?" :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Still Alvie...

Hi Folks... still alive, just struggling to write a rather difficult song... for some reason or other... and looking into trying to go back to making a living on the wet part of the world a little after Christmas, I hope... just checking in... my best to all, lor