alan skeoch
Aug. 30, 2022

My real danger was neither bulls nor boars.  The real danger was those tiny, almost invisible, creatures called ticks.
Some cattle herds were infested with the blood sucking bastards.  I firmly remember one cow in particular whose
nose was covered in ticks.  I think Barney drew that to my attention but not sure.  I do remember, however, stripping
each night and searching my body for ticks.  And I found a few.  But never had a tick fully engorged with of my blood.  That may
have happened  since a fully blood bloated tick releases its pincer grip and drops off to begin its search for a mate
and the tick life cycle  I have recently discovered that ticks can clone themselves if they cannot find a mate.
Now that is something to worry about.  I did worry about ticks but only had a few on my body none of which
were carrying other pathogens such as Llyme disease.   Lyme disease was unknown in Ireland in 1960.

The Cow's Nose Shows How They're Feeling About Life - The Dodo
Imgine this cow’s nose peppered with a tick infestation…small at first and then blood boated.

I remember the prevalence of ticks on the noses of cattle in some but not
all of the Irish farm fields.   Ticks are not nice.  They are tiny blood sucking little cratures
that are almost invisible.  They become ugly blood filled little greyish balls hanging tight
to animal and human flesh.  Recently I searched the internet for a picture of these
little bastards but failed to find anything that compared to what I saw of those Irish cattle
in 1960l.  

An Invasive New Tick Is Spreading in the U.S. - The New York TimesCanine Arthropods: Mites and Ticks – Recommendations from the Companion  Animal Parasite Council | Today's Veterinary Practice

We hired people to help get me through gorse hedges and over Irish stone fences but no
one was hired to check our bodies for ticks.  That was personal.  Each night I checked for
ticks and did find a few which were carefully removed using tweezers where the little bastards
head had bitten and latched onto me.  

My Irish employees must have done the same  They all wore long pants and long sleeved
shirts which gave some protection from ticks. Initially I thought it strange that local people did
not wear short pants and short sleeved shirts in Irish summertime.  Was it fear of ticks?
No idea.  Never asked.  In 1960 Irish ticks did not carry Lyme disease.  Today lyme disease
is rampant all over the world.

In 2019 a North Carolina farmer found one of his bulls dead in a field.  All of its
blood had been sucked out of its body by ticks and examiners of he corpse noted 
the infestation of ticks was so large that some were climbing up their rubber
boots.   Now that is hard to imagine but true, noted by veterinarians.

Did ticks get on my legs via my rubber boots?  They seem to have grasped me as I
brushed by long grass or was busy getting through the Gorse hidges.  I don’t remember
Barney being worried about ticks.  In 1960 The Irish ticks were like mosquitoes…pests
that were just a normal part of doing business in farm fields.



“Jack, your are being transferred to Fort Wainright, Alberta for deeper training.”
(Jackson Skeoch is recent Basic Training gradate in the Canadian Army, based in Alberta)
“Yes, starting September…looking forward to it.”
“That might involve a lot of outdoor activities..”
“Lots of that, Grandpa”
“Has anyone mentioned ticks?”
“Strange that you should mention that.  Yes, we are to be cautious “

My Irish experience in 1960, including Barney’s comment about a cow we met whose nose
was cluttered with  ticks has always made me a little concerned when wading through farm fields
No big danger in 1960 but by 2012 Lyme disease was carried by black legged ticks.  Even in
1960, however, I was cautious, perhaps more because the blood filled ticks are so ugly.
.Presently my caution  heightened when my good friend ROBERT ROOT picked up Lyme Desease
when walking on a hiking trail near Hamilton.   Bob Root did not know he had been bitten.
He came down with a serious case of Lyme disease. Desperate situation followed.

Overview on Ticks

Ticks are small spider-like animals (arachnids) that bite to fasten themselves onto the skin and feed on blood.

Ticks are most active during the spring, summer and fall seasons and can be active when the temperatures are above 4 degrees Celsius.

In addition to ticks that live in Alberta year-round, migrating birds bring ticks from warmer areas into Alberta during the spring.

Alberta is home to many species of ticks. Most tick species in Alberta do not carry Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease in people. However, there is evidence that tick species capable of carrying the bacteria are expanding their range in Canada.

Visit Health Canada for more information on risk areas for Lyme disease in Canada.

Protect yourself from ticks

While most ticks do not cause serious health problems, it is important to protect yourself, your family and even your pets from tick bites. It is also important to remove attached ticks immediately in order to avoid potential infection or diseases that can be transmitted from the bite. Some tips to prevent tick bites include:

  • Walk on cleared trails whenever possible and avoid walking in tall grassy or wooded areas.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up as much skin as possible. For example, a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants with the legs tucked into socks or boots.
  • Use a bug spray that contains the chemical DEET or Icaridin to repel ticks and reapply as frequently as directed.
  • Check yourself for ticks after leaving a grassy or wooded area where ticks may live.
  • Check your pets for ticks after they have been outside. You cannot get Lyme disease from your pet, but your pet can bring infected ticks inside. These ticks can fall off your pet and attach themselves to you.

How to remove a tick safely

Photo of how to remove a tick safely

Although the risk of Lyme disease is very low in Alberta, there are other tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.

It is important to properly remove a tick as soon as possible. Removing a tick 24 to 36 hours after a tick bite usually prevents Lyme disease from developing.

If a tick is attached to your skin, you can safely remove it.

  • Using tweezers, gently grasp its head and mouth parts as close to your skin as possible to avoid leaving mouthparts in the skin or crushing the tick.
  • Without squeezing the tick, slowly pull the tick straight up off the skin – do not jerk or twist it.
  • Do not apply matches, cigarettes, dish soap, petroleum jelly or any other substance to the tick. This will not encourage the tick to detach and may cause it to release infectious blood back into the wound.
  • Once the tick has been removed, clean the bite area with soap and water and disinfect the area with an antiseptic. Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Consider submitting a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program.
  • If you do not plan to submit a photograph of the tick to the Submit-a-Tick program, you can kill the tick by placing it in a freezer for 24 hours, or putting it in rubbing alcohol. Once killed, dispose of it by flushing it down the toilet, or placing it in the garbage. Avoid crushing a tick with your fingers as they may be filled with blood and other infectious material.

Tick bites can be prevented by:

  • Wearing long trousers, long sleeved shirt and gaiters
  • Using an insect repellent
  • Checking skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks, after a day out
  • Removing any ticks and consulting with a GP if symptoms develop

Only a minority of ticks carry infection. If a tick is removed within a few hours, the risk of infection is low. The entire tick, including any mouthparts which might break off, should be removed with a tweezers by gripping it close to the skin. The skin where the tick was found should then be washed with soap and water and the area checked over the next few weeks for swelling or redness. Anyone who develops a rash or other symptoms should visit their GP and explain that they have been bitten by a tick.

Lyme disease has been notifiable in Ireland since 2012 and there are between 8-13 cases notified in Ireland each year. However as some people will not be aware that they are infected or will not seek medical help when unwell the true incidence of Lyme disease is not known. It is likely that there are at least 50-100 cases in Ireland every year.

Ticks are rarely considered serious pathogens in their own right. The bite itself usually causes little irritation although the lesion may become infected with Staphylococcus aureus, causing tick pyaemia and/or blow fly larvae, resulting in myiasis.

Many attempts have been made to identify the most important reservoir hosts for Borreliaspirochaetes in the environment. Large mammals such as red, fallow and sika deer, cattle and sheep are certainly important reproductive hosts for ticks, and by feeding large numbers of all life cycle stages, their presence invariably serves to significantly boost tick numbers [2325]


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by black-legged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks.1 It is the most frequently seen vector-borne disease in the United States.

Symptoms of Lyme disease vary based on the severity of the case. The most notorious symptom, “bullseye rash,” doesn’t occur in everyone and can go unnoticed.2 Other symptoms may resemble those of other illnesses. This is why it is possible to be unaware that you have Lyme disease.

Lyme disease that goes untreated for many months or years may be harder to treat with antibiotics. Untreated cases can progress to serious, even fatal health conditions, from arthritis and nerve pain to cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) or Lyme neuroborreliosis (inflammation of the brain and spine).

www.verywellhealth.com/thmb/fYLhhTInhSawYXko6E8KwBNhQS4=/378×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/untreated-lyme-disease-5181045_FINAL-94489312469a409f9a5f16d9130ca21f.jpg 378w, www.verywellhealth.com/thmb/M5Mfzs4Vv1TH_4DKyQjV84_GkPQ=/456×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/untreated-lyme-disease-5181045_FINAL-94489312469a409f9a5f16d9130ca21f.jpg 456w, www.verywellhealth.com/thmb/mmYUQvAzv9igijxnZVqolS-4rE8=/614×0/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/untreated-lyme-disease-5181045_FINAL-94489312469a409f9a5f16d9130ca21f.jpg 614w” data-sizes=”(max-width: 640px) calc((100vw – 2rem) / 2), (max-width: 1040px) 614px, (max-width: 1248px) 614px, 614px” data-src=”https://www.verywellhealth.com/thmb/h8RA0E_M5gx-EWPQB78GsM256Dw=/1500×1000/filters:no_upscale():max_bytes(150000):strip_icc()/untreated-lyme-disease-5181045_FINAL-94489312469a409f9a5f16d9130ca21f.jpg” alt=”Potential Early Symptoms of Lyme Disease – Illustration by Jessica Olah” class=”lazyloaded” width=”1500″ height=”1000″ data-click-tracked=”true” data-img-lightbox=”true” data-owner=”

Verywell / Jessica Olah

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Verywell / Jessica Olah

It’s important to understand more about Lyme disease, what can happen if it goes unmanaged, and what can be done to treat it. The more vigilant you are, the better off you’ll be.

What Causes Lyme Disease? 

Lyme disease is carried by the blacklegged tick, also known as the deer tick. This tick is found in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States. On the Pacific coast, Lyme disease is spread by the western blacklegged tick (also called the deer tick). 

When an infected tick bites you, a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferipasses from the tick into your bloodstream. In order for this to happen, the tick must be attached to you for 36 to 48 hours. Most people are infected when they’re bitten by immature ticks, which can be difficult to see.3 

Symptoms of Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease causes a range of symptoms that change and intensify as the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria spreads to the rest of the body. Untreated cases can cause serious problems or lead to a fatal condition. What’s tricky, too, is that the onset of initial symptoms occurs anywhere from three to 30 days after exposure.2

Clinically, there are three stages of Lyme disease: early localized disease, early disseminated disease, and late disseminated disease.4

Early Localized Lyme Disease 

Early localized disease, the initial manifestation, begins between three and 30 days after a bite. It is characterized by:

  • Bullseye rash and swelling, the most notorious symptom, occurs in 70% to 80% of cases.2 Clinically referred to as “erythema migrans,” its appearance varies—it can be a different color or shape—especially in people of color. It arises about a week after exposure to the bacteria.
  • Other symptoms of the first stage include fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain. Very often, those with the condition—especially if there is no rash—feel as if they’re experiencing the flu.


I made mistakes over the course of the job. Attendance for instance.  Fired one man for not
turning up when needed.  Then Barney told
me his father had died in the night.  I felt bad.  Thanks to Barney all was not lost.  Rehird the fellow
and went to the wake in their small cottage.  Packed with people.  
The coffin was erect as I remember.  Lots of noise as dozens packed the two room cottage
cheek to jowl.  Was there also music?  I think so.  Later John Stam, John Hogan and I joined the funeral cortege walking 
behind the ancient hearse heading to the cemetery.  He was buried vertically beside the church. I assumed that
was because the tiny graveyard was packed.  Even the funeral was an adventure.  I  remember a farmer 
with a load of pigs speeding around a corner to meet us face on.  No damage.
Thanks to Barney this sad event bound me even more tightly to the
community life of Bunmahon in 1960.  Like John Wayne in ’The Quiet Man’. Imagination



alan skeoch
August 2022

NOTE:  THIS story about Barney Dwan was triggered by the letter below sent
to me by his grandson, Jamie Dineen.

Hi Alan,

I was sent a link to your website by a relative recently.

A number of your articles (links below) talk about Bunmahon in Co Waterford in Ireland and specifically you mention Barney Dwan who is my grandfather.

Barney has unfortunately just passed away and I am currently visiting Ireland to say goodbye from Whistler in Canada (where I now live). He always told us old stories about working with “Canadian miners” back when he was young. It is so great to see some first hand written accounts of someone who spent some time with him in his youth. He was a bit of a character and he seemed to get a kick out of telling stories that you were never quite sure if they were true or not.  

Anyway, on your website you have some incredible photos of Barney in his youth that I have never seen before. So thank you so much for preserving them many years later. I was wondering if you had digital copies of these that you could pass on or any other information relating to his life in your archives. I’m not sure if anyone else from my family has been in touch but it would be great if you had anything to share with us.

Again, thanks for preserving this little piece of history that relates to our family and I am hoping you have time to get in touch.

Best wishes,

Jamie Dineen

The ruins of the Knockmahon copper mine…closed and flooded in the 1870’s.
Could it be reopened?  

Barney Dwan, my right hand man in that wonderful summer
of 1960.  He died in the summer of 2022.   He was a great
story teller and an excellent friend.  He is standing on the cliff
face that he knew so well.




When I was young, a  high school student, I was lucky enough to be hired as a geophysical instrument man.
The job was exciting, demanding, lonely, sometimes dangerous but always enriching. Not financially but
spiritually.  I never knew where i was going until almost the day of departure.
On that day I had time to pack a rucksack with all the things I would need for several months.
No suitcase of luggage.  Just a Canadian army back pack.

DATELINE:  MAY15, 1960

“Alan, forget about Arizona….sudden change…you are going to Ireland.”
“My snake bite training…sucking blood from snake bitten flesh…is now useless.”
“No snakes in Ireland. Should be smooth sailing, Alan, as long as you know
how to set up and run the Turam.”

The Turam is a rather complicated Swedish instrument that is able to find mineral formations 
beneath the ground… i.e. without excavating.   Here is a simplified description  First thing to do is to lay
out  single sheathed copper wire ‘base line’ about a mile or more long and
grounded at both ends.  Then attach a motor generator to this base line which when running will create a electro=magnetic
field.  If there is mineralization then there will be an anomaly,,,something odd, peculiar… in the readings picked up by  receiver coils
… two long cylinders of copper coiled wire kept st 100 foot separation.  These blips were called
are unusual intrusions in background readings.  Rather miraculous machine invented by Swedish engineers.

Above is our Turam equipment all crated.  The picture will give readers some
idea of the complicated equipment involved


LUCK!  Napoleon Bonaparte was once asked how he decided promotions in his army: :Give me the lucky soldiers.” was his reply.
He made instant promotions after battles.  I felt like one of those lucky ones.
 In the summer of 1959,I was sent to western Alaska with a Canadian seven man survey
crew,  Three of us were students at the University of Toronto and  the others were professionals
in mining exploration.   That summer I initially felt like a square peg in a  round hole. Then My partner,
Bill Morrison taught me how to operate the Turam.  So there were four field men working the
Alaskan tundra that summer.

The following summer of 1960 I was the only employee of Hunting Exporaton who knew 
the Turam system. I was the lucky one.  All the others had gone their separate ways. 

 “ALAN, you will be responsible
for this Irish job?  Can you remember the Turam system.”, said Dr. Norman Paterson
“Yes!”  I was not as sure as I sounded.  This was a big deal.  Suddenly I was no longer
the square peg in a round hole.  I was epectred to be there right round peg for the 
round hole.  The Turam.   To indicate a lack of confidence would risk losing the job.
If Dr. Paterson was willing to give me sole responsibility for the Irish survey then he
must think I could do it.

Two pictures of Turam in operation in 1960.  One in Ireland as we tramped through a field of ripe wheat much to the anger
of the local Irish farmer who sought payment.  Bulls, hogs and ticks were problems  The second picture is the same Turam in the wilds of the Alaskan
perma frost scrubland in 1959 where blood seeking flies by the billions sought flesh wherever exposed and Kodiak bears feasted on
dead and living salmon in sunken river valleys.  Two places, Ireland and Alaska, same machine…different problems.


SO I arrived in Ireland alone.  One man cannot operate a Turam.  The system needs
a minimum of two.  Often  more than two. Do not get an inflated opinion of my role.
My job ws to get data.  Dr John Stam arrived later in the summer His job was the
really important job of interpreting the data.  And John Hogan, a geologist was sent
by our client just to keep an eye on what we were doing.  Lots of pressure on me, a 22
year old student of history and philosophy at the University of Toronto. Like being in
a goldfish bowl.

Afteer 13 days in Dublin, our crates arrived.  Those 13 days were long days.
The tedium was broken, however,  by one night at a Dublin movie house watching “The Quiet Man”,
a film that romanitcized Ireland featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.  The movie was
not full of hatred although filmed in the “Time of the Trouble” when Irish Republicans were killing
and being killed by English Black and Tan constabulary.  Not a dark film at all.  It was full of
joy and minimized the violence. Exaggerated the positive.  I loved the film even though I did
not expect my real experience in Ireland would be nearly as pleasant.

Well, as things turned out, I was dead wrong.


“Could Southern Ireland be anything like that movie?”
This is where  Barney Dwan entered the picture.  He was our first
employee.  I think he just asked if we needed help the daY I arrived in Bunmahon.
He was hired on the spot.  Paid a pound a day… seven pounds
a week….cash.  That was the going pay  in Ireland in 1960.
My own salary was not much more…$400 per month which amounted to $5 a day.

 10 pounds in 1960 is worth 271.86 pounds in 2021 terms. Inflation.

Barney seemed about my age, 22 years old.  He had a permanent grin it seemed
even at the beginning when I could not understand his dialect.  First mistake.  I thought his name
was Bandy much to the amusement of our growing number of employees. I think we
hired about ten men all told.  Same pay for all.  They all seemed to laugh every time
i asked Bandy (Barney) a question.  Eventually I figured out why.  Barney was amused
as well and accepted Bandy rather than Barney.  Nice chap for sure and very
smart.  Figured out what I needed when i needed help.  I may have been the boss
but Barney was the manager.    That sounds a little officious.  Not so.  I tried to keep
everyone happy as long as they turned up for work each day.  Barney made suggestions
casually.  I never realized how important Barney was to our survey until midway though
the job.  He had that very Irish way of making suggestions often using stories that
may or may have been true.  Such as finding the feet of a nun…feet in her shoes
but nothing else.  Hogs had got her crossing a farm field.  Hogs rarely kill but they
can consume meat fast when given the chance.

Barney was a big help on our line surveys.   I was strapped in.  Copper coil hanging from
belt, console, earphones, batter pack on my back, hooked by electric short to man
with front coil.  Difficult to move evilly especially in Ireland where the farm fields are
small and line with Gorse hedge.  Gorse?  Imagine a death by a thousand cuts.
Gorse may well be beautiful when in bloom..thousands of yellow flowers shielded by
thongs …thousands of thorns.

Free range pigs were very curious animals.  They investigated our work
regularly as above…which gave Barney an opportunity to tell as story.

“Master Skeoch, story is told about a nun who tried to cut across a farm field.
All that was ever found were her shoes with her feet in them.”
“what happened?”
“No one really knows.  Likely the pigs got her.  She could not run fast
with those long black clothes.”
’Terrible death. “
“Boars can be violent…hungry..tough.”
“Reason I tell the story is that you are like the nun.  You can’t
run with all that gear strapped to you.  Boars could get you.”
Crossing a thin bridge over the Mahon River was tricky.   I believe that is John Fleming
on the right.  He was in charge of our linecutting crew and I think our oldest employee,
A grandfather and very dignified community leader.  In the centre is Barney Dwan to
whom this episode is dedicated.  My right arm man and the key to my acceptance
as a member of the Bunmahon mining adventure.  The man on the right whose name
escapes me was part of excavating crew and I believe he returned to Ireland after
working abroad.  It must have been difficult for our older employees to be bossed
by a young 22 year old Canadian.   I never felt resentment.

Barney seemed to have endless stories all of which were based in facts even
if bloated to make the story better.  A joy to work with.

Perhaps Barney told this Nun story, whether true or false, as Barney’s way of
alerting me to the danger that could be found in those tiny Irish fields.
A charging bull was no problem normally.  Fleet footed escape or totally avoiding the field enclosed by 
the bull.  I could not do that.  The Turam harness made running impossible.  And our survey had to be done in straight lines 
in order to form a grid to map out any anomaly.

“Master Skeoch, you need someone to lift you over the fences or to break a path through
the Gorse.  Someone to keep a sharp eye on bulls and boars.”

“Barney, why do all the bulls have rings in their noses.”
“Control mechanism, Master Skeoch, imagine you had a ring in your nose
and someone twisted it.  Make you want to do what the twister wanted, would it not?’
“I had a high school teacher, Roberta Charlesworth, who lifted me up vertically by the
ear…like twisting an iron ring in a bull’s nose. “
“What did you do wrong?”
“Seemed I served a detention watching the girls play volleyball in he girls gymnastics
rather than the detention room.  Nicer place….but Charlesworth did not think the way i did.”

Now just how dangerous are hogs running loose in a farm field?   Do they kill and eat people
regularly.  Is the Nun story believable?   Such a maladventure is extremely rare.  Likely Barney was exaggerating
but I am not sure.  There is a list of dangerous creatures that kill humans.  The number
one killer is the mosquito (malaria), the number two killer of humans is humans.  We kill each 
other  at a rate of 400,000 each year.   Bulls and hogs do not even merit a rating in the list of
killers.  Lions, Hippos, Crocodiles, snakes…all are killers big time.

“ Barney, That prickly Gorse is more dangerous than any boar or bull.  You have seen me fall just trying to 
through the stuff. Gorse surrounds every field.  Loaded with needles.  Every field is fenced with a million 
needles.   Capable of drawing blood…lots of blood.”

Common gorse | The Wildlife Trusts

Gorse looks charming from a distance when in bloom.
The charm disappears when challenged with the task of 
penetrating the gorse.  Surveying grids must have straight lines…
no way of avoiding those gorse needles which can tear both clothing
and flesh.  

Our lineutting crew preceded us by setting up a grid which means they penetrated
the gorse before Barney and I.  They smashed holes for us to crawl through.
Farmers did not want big holes in their Gorse fences so Barney often had to help me through 
the gorse.  I fell sometimes 

gorse bush with prickly leaves a gorse bush with prickly leaves and yellow flowers in the sun Beauty Stock Photo

Gorse Needles | Gorse bush at Quarryhill Croft, Aberdeenshir… | FlickrGorse

“Master Skeoch , you need help getting through the Gorse.”
“ I agree.  The trouble is that my company boss will  wonder why I need help in
Ireland when I never needed help in Alaska where Kodiak bears were common.  I imagine the gorse problem seemed funny
back in Canada..”

Were bulls and hogs really a danger?  In the great scheme of things bulls and hogs were not a dangerous as mosquitoes 
snakes and crocodiles.  The trouble with bulls is that they were unpredictable.  Dairy bulls in particular.  They might seem
placid then take offence suddenly.  Normally a charging bull could be avoided by jumping a fence.  Not so easy in Ireland
where many farmers used gorse hedges as fencing often with a stone wall core.  

Were hogs really a danger?  Wild boars..yes.  But we never encountered a wild boar.  Domesticated pigs, however, were 
common.   Very curious animals.  Intelligent.   When we dug trenches deep down to bed rock to check our an
anomaly often the trench was ringed with pigs who basically wanted to see what was happening.  They were big 
but I do not remember a problem.   My harness made me immobile no matter what.  Barney’s precaution was a 
good idea.

Why Do Cows Have Nose Rings? | Farming Base
Why DOES this bull have a ring in its nose?  Surely not for a brave person to grab and twist to control
the bull?  Not at all…but the ring hurts if twisted, therefore the bull can be led to the cow or the prize ring.
One ting was certain.  I would never be able to grab the ring if a bull denied to attack.

Never feared bulls or boars once we had a man to keep them from charging.  

The biggest threat came from one tiny, almost invisible, insect…





alan skeoch
august 27, 2022




alan skeoch
August 27, 2022

Dateline: Dawn, August 27
Somewhere under the surface of Lake Ontario…perhaps 3 miles off the Port
Credit coast there is a huge salmon. He or she is just waking up 200 feet below the
surface.  This hungry beast has spent the night resting among  perhaps a thousand 
kin.  They are the children of wild Pacific salmon let loose in Lake Michigan to gobble
up the alewives that had by 1964 taken over the Great Lakes. One man changed
the Great Lakes forever when he let loose salmon fingerlings in the waters of Lake Michigan
in that year.

The story of Howard Tanner is appended below.  

This photo essay celebrates the Port Credit fish derby of August 27, 2022 when 47 teams
of fishermen coughed up the cash to fund their plan to find the  largest fish hiding in the
dark waters off the coast of the quaint and booming village of Port Credit
in the City of Mississauga.

The search began in the dark hours of early morning and ended sharply at 12 noon when
all the 47 fishbouats brought their fish to the weigh Inn station.  The winner received
about $11,000.   Did they catch the biggest salmon predator living in the Great Lakes?
i have no idea.  But they caught some giants.

The largest caught was lured from the jumble of sleeping predators by the flashes
of sunlight on lethal fish lures.  Lures that looked like alewives.

The story is much bigger than this snippet.  The story has been told in earlier episodes.
Today just enjoy the faces of the fishermen.  And the angry faces of the salmon.

alan skeoch
August 27, 2022

BOOK REVIEW: Something Spectacular: My Great Lakes Salmon Story

New autobiography from Dr. Howard Tanner, father of the Great Lakes salmon fishery, is an important contribution to the annals of history and an engaging read.

Cover of Dr. Howard Tanner's book.

It would be hard to understate the impact that Dr. Howard A. Tanner had on the Great Lakes region. Tanner was at the helm of the Michigan Department of Conservation’s Fish Division from 1964 until 1966. During this brief moment in time, Tanner set the course for massive change. Ultimately, his decisions were largely responsible for not only the introduction of coho and chinook salmon, but also the shift in emphasis from commercial to recreational fisheries management on the lakes, the rise of state authority and decline of federal authority to manage these fisheries, massive changes to state hatchery systems, and the beginning of state involvement in Great Lakes fishery research.

In the court of public opinion, Tanner’s actions were heralded as a great success. Coastal tourism boomed, tackle companies flourished, and property values soared as “coho madness” drew unprecedented numbers of anglers from Michigan and surrounding states. Beaches that had been littered with the decaying bodies of invasive alewives now bore witness to the birth of a world-class fishery. The small silvery alewives were nearly worthless to commercial fishermen, but their booming population provided ample food for salmon.

This 30-second story is common knowledge around Lake Michigan. It is one of those rare moments in fisheries history that transcends the community of anglers, commercial fishers, and fisheries professionals. The oft-paraphrased “line of dead fish 300 miles long” that littered popular public beaches and prime waterfront real estate was undoubtedly a key to public interest, but the booming salmon fishery that followed also enjoyed broad appreciation due to its obvious economic impacts.

It would have been tempting for Tanner to focus only on the positive in this autobiography. Indeed, he is certainly cast as the hero of the story, but there is also a great deal of reflection on the salient criticism he received. By his own admission, he was well aware of the “firm dogma against introducing non-native species” that was based on the hard lessons and failures of the past.

Tanner’s rebuttal to his critics sometimes reads as realpolitik justification or contention that the ends justified the means. After all, we now have more resilience and stability in predator-prey balance thanks to the increased number of predatory species found in open water. However, Tanner is also very honest about his primary motivation to “do something … spectacular” and create a new recreational fishery.

It is fortunate that Dr. Tanner elected to write this book late in life (he is 95 at the time of publishing) because he was able to write with unvarnished honesty without risk to his professional position or the careers of colleagues. Of course, Tanner often references his membership in the “Greatest Generation” of WWII veterans and this context is very important to understanding the attitudes and cultural norms that enabled these decisions. Even so, some of Tanner’s stories might be judged more critically by today’s standards.

Originally, his plan to do something spectacular for Michigan’s sport fishery involved three non-native fish. From an historical perspective, the discussion of all three fish species that were considered was particularly interesting. Kokanee salmon (a landlocked form of sockeye salmon) were introduced to inland lakes in Michigan before coho salmon were stocked in the Great Lakes, based in part on Tanner’s knowledge of fisheries for stocked kokanee in reservoirs from his time in Colorado. In short, the kokanee program was a failure despite early predictions for their success. Striped bass stocking in certain Great Lakes waters was considered in addition to salmon, and Tanner details the difficult decision to destroy striped bass broodstock after they were brought to a hatchery in Michigan from South Carolina.

At the end of the day, Tanner maintains his belief that the salmon introduction was “the right decision at the right time.”  A great many anglers, coastal residents, and small business owners along the Great Lakes’ shores would agree with this wholeheartedly. Among fisheries biologists and Great Lakes ecologists, I think it is fair to say that opinions are more nuanced while state-licensed and tribal commercial fishers have more negative views (which are explored along with sport fishing views in the book Fish for All).

In addition to providing an insider’s perspective on the birth of the Great Lakes salmon fishery, Tanner provides readers with a look at his early life spent fishing for trout, deployment in the South Pacific, and his graduate research on lake fertilization. Along with providing context for his later work, these early chapters serve to remind us just how much things have changed since the early days of fisheries management.

For example, Tanner initially hypothesized that fertilizing lakes would increase trout production. After adding nutrients to a lake, Tanner observed that trout growth increased over the first summer, but there was a large fish die-off that winter due to oxygen depletion below the ice. Today we take it for granted that fertilizing glacial lakes in the upper Midwest is a terrible idea because excess nutrients lead to increased decomposition and decreases in dissolved oxygen. Early research projects like Tanner’s provided the science that led to our current paradigm of seeking to reduce nutrient inputs to lakes, as opposed to increasing them.

Mindsets change slowly, but Dr. Tanner’s tell-all autobiography paints us a vivid picture of that moment in time where everything changed dramatically and almost overnight. Those times still factor into the psyche of today’s anglers. The mix of seemingly unlimited forage, the overnight sensation of a booming fishery in response to stocking, and the equation of “more fish stocked = more fish caught” that held true for decades left a deep imprint. Now, as we collectively look toward the future, Tanner’s book provides crucial historical context for our present situation and a thoughtful exploration of the critical factors that led to his decision.

This book is available in hardcover from MSU Press for $39.95 (or ebook $31.95) at http://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-44D9#.XD458ml7mM8



alan skeoch
august 23-25, 2022


Some regular;ar readers may wonder why the episodes stopped so abruptly,.
Marjorie and I took a three day holiday with George and Penny and sampled cottage life
in Ontario. 
why should you be interested?  There is a chance that some readers do not have cottages…or do not
have old style cottages that were once common.  So here are a few pictures
of cottage life on Georgian Bay, Ontario.   We are so lucky to have the Great Lakes
nearby  so just pretend you came along with us.  It will be a short trip….time enough
for a wilderness walk and a lingering swim before the leaves turn red gold and the water


“What day is it , Marjorie?”

“August 24, 2022, I think!  Holy Cot, this is our 59th wedding anniversary…we forgot”
“59 years have passed by ..full years.  Do you think the boys will remember?”
“I doubt it since we did not remember either”

Penny and George took over…dinner preceded by gin and tonic.  And followed by
outlandish stories of all our married lives.,,all four of us….hooting and laughing at
the foibles of married life.  A wonderful time.

“Remember when you insisted that our honeymoon hotel have one double bed….no
other beds, Alan?  You did not want marriage to start with separate beds.””
“Yes, and the hotel creeps just shoved two single beds together with a big sheet disguise.”
“Remember what caused the two beds to split apart as we consummated  the marriage.?”

Stories like that rolled from our lips….four voices trying to top each other…good time friends..

Nothing quite like a cottage road weaving through an oak and white pine forest.

One upon a time cottages were small cabins tucked in the forest like this one.

And footpaths led to the open water.

Sand wind blown in places but held in place in others….held by wild grasses.

Penny and Marjorie all set for two hours swimming and wading and talking and laughing.
Carefree time.

Penny and George

Fwd: EWPISODE 639 “WE BOUGHT HATS TO HIDE OUR HEADS” Private Jack Skeoch speaking


alan skeoch
Aug. 19. 2022

“Grandpa,. all our unit bought hats to hide our heads.”  

Jack’s answer makes me ashamed to be a Canadian… but at
the same time proud of my grandson, Jack Skeoch.   These are bad times
for us all, but particularly bad for young people of principle.

Today, Jack and I spent the whole day clearing the barn.  We talked a lot,
Not preachy kind of talk   just grandpa to grandson.  Just an old man
talking to a young Canadian soldier, Princess Patricia Light Infantry (PPLI) who had just passed basic training.

 Now Private Jack Skeoch.  Pleased with himself…. for Basic Training is no joke.  

“We get yelled at a lot…and 
push ups are demanded for tiny tiny infractions. Our unit surprised the sergeants because we are remarkably
physically fit. Watch this….”  

Jack dropped flat to the ground and did rapid fire push ups as if they were handshakes.He is tough.
And that is where the hats enter the picture.

“Why did your army unit…your new friends…buy those nondescript baseball hats, Jack?”
“The hats hide our short haircuts.”
“Why hide the haircuts?”
“Because our short hair…shorn like sheep…our short hair identifies us as Canadian soldiers…new soldiers.”
“So what?”
“So when we get week end  leave we like to have a beer or two in Edmonton pubs…not a lot Granddad…sometimes we
 get into trouble.  A lot of the local guys in Edmonton like to pick fights with us.”
“Must be a reason?”
“No reason Grandpa…makes no sense at all but it happens.  So we all went out and bought
the baseball hats to disguise ourselves.”
“Maybe the locals are jealous. It takes guts to join the Canadian army….and not everyone is accepted.”
“Some make comments…try to egg us on.”
“Do fights happen?”
“Not yet.  Anyway we are not allowed to fight back.  The sergeants made that clear.  If we get
into a fight we could be sent home…booted out of the army,”
“I guess there is a point.  We do not want Canadian soldiers running around
looking for fights.  We expect better of them than that.   Does that sound right, Jack?”
“Seems so.”

Jack just came home this week.   Three weeks of leave after passing basic training.  He went away 
as a 19 year old kid unsure of what life path he would take.  A lot of kids face that today.  They
dom’t have clear steps in life’s journey. Voltaire’s Candide….young French kid who ventured into 
the world around him and concluded “If this is the best of all possible worlds, what then of the others.”

  When I was Jack’s age I had no idea what I would
do with my life.  Just rolled along.  Went to Victoria College at the U. of T. for no firm reason.
Best reason I could think of was it might be a good place to find a wife.  But that thought was suppressed
at first.  Went with my best friend Russ Vanstone who was just as lost as I was back then.   Nicest ting about first year university was our college football
team.   Just like Jack’s army unit.  New and firm friends.  I skipped a lo of lectures and drank a lot of beer.

“Jack, what do your high school chums think of you joining the Canadian Army?”
“Most do not know….I never say.”
“Why not?”
“Most would not understand.  Being a Canadian soldier is the last thing on their minds I think.”
“But they must know?”
“Nope, they don’t.  We do not wear our uniforms…no one back here suspects I am a soldier.  And I
like to keep it that way.”
“You had a goo job before enlisting…making good money…gave that up.  Must have been hard to do that?”
“Not really.  I wanted to do something myself…find a purpose in life. you might say.”
“What do your mom and dad think?”
“They agree…they don’t go around boasting but I think they are impressed
that I made the decision.   Dad  welcomed me into his business.  But he did not interfere.
You know that because you and Grandma came with them to my graduation along with my sister Molly.
Some of the guys did not have tha kind of support.”

So Jack and I Spent the whole day making the barn presentable.  I have a small rental busiess . Historic objects
used in the motion picture industry.  Piles of things that movie set people rent.  A lot of the things cannot
be seen due to the clutter so Jack and  I sorted the good from the bad.  Then hauled the bad to the dump. It was good fun.
Some things we found were just plain junk but Jack never said that.  He respected my collection. 

“What’s that, Grandpa?
“Tree climbing harness …hang tools from it and a chain saw…Heavy”
“And you don’t want it?”
“No movie request…horse harness is more popular.”
“Can I have it then?”
“Sure…but dangerous.”

Jack and Molly Skeoch, long ago, admiring my collection of ancient machines….fanning mills.

“Jack, some people are horrified at this stuff.  Fine by me.  They will never be competition.  There is
a secret few people understand in this business.  To make a period movie believable then things worn. bent or busted
by the human hand are necessary.  Especially for rural sciences.   A broken plow leating against a rusty 45
gallon drum with a broken pump inserted makes a good background scene.  A teeter totter with peeling paint  for a playground..
A bashed up hawker’s cart for a market scene.

.   Jack did not object to these gems..  We debated the fate of a wooden four drawer filing cabinet…1920;s kind….then
cast it in the junk pile which made room for an 1890 grain cleaning machine which looks prettier.   A set of spike tooth harrows on wood
mounts was also hauled to the dump.  Just too dangerous to lay hidden in the weeds like a bear trap.

I learned more about him.    He is a good 
person making his way on his own like hundreds…thousands…of high

school students cast adrift by the Covid pandemic.   He made me feel good about our

collection….never used the word junk.regarded artefacts from the distant past as treasures.


Strange thing about the day.  Ordinary day really but I think it will be fondly remembered forever.
I am thinking about Jack’s decision to wear a hat.  Such a simple thing but full of meaning…a lesson in life.


EWPISODE 639 “WE BOUGHT HATS TO HIDE OUR HEADS” Private Jack Skeoch speaking


alan skeoch
Aug. 19. 2022

“Grandpa,. all our unit bought hats to hide our heads.”  

This story is coming next.  It makes me ashamed to be a Canadian but at
the same time proud of my grandson, Jack Skeoch.   These are bad times
for us all, but particularly bad for young people of principle.

Today, Jack and I spent the whole day clearing the barn.  We talked a lot,
Not preachy kind of talk   just grandpa to grandson.  Just an old man
talking to a young Canadian soldier who had just passed basic training.
I learned more about him.    He is a good 
person making his way in a uncaring world. 

The fact he bought this hat made me ashamed of some Canadians.  Proud of Jack.

The story is coming.

But right now there is no room in my office to type. Our house is full of people…every
room taken.




alan skeoch
August 17, 2022

“Please Get out of my way , Alan, I am busy.”
“Now is that any way to talk to your husband?”
“Only way … if the husband is you, Alan.”

Naturally I was deeply hurt by this order.  Marjorie’s “Order Number One”
But I will follow instructions.

Marjorie seems overworked…do not see why.

Alan, put out the garbage….I  do not do garbage
Alan, cut the grass…three lawns….I do not do grass, bought you a new mower
Alan, could you load and empty the dishwasher at least once in your life….I do not do dishes
Alan, could you at least put  your clothes in the laundry basket….I do not do laundry
Alan, could you at least make rice pudding…I do not cook even though I love rice pudding.
Alan, could you help make the bed….I do not make beds
Alan, could you wash the truck….I do not wash trucks
Alan, could you clean out the truck at least….I bought you a leaf blower for that purpose.
Alan, you did not buy the leaf blower, it was a gift from Andrew…..I do not do gifts
Alan, could you clean the toilet….are you kidding, I do not do toilets.
Alan, could you cut those broken tree branches….I do not butcher trees.
Alan, could you dust and air the dog bed…I do not do dog beds
Alan, could you pull weeds from zinnia bed….I do not pulll weeds, I think the zinnias like company anyway
Alan, could you get rid to the squirrels in our roof…I do not do squirrels
Alan, could you go to the store for bread…..i do not shop, why do you think I bought you a bicycle?
Alan, could you feed the birds, seed is all ready for you….I do not feed birds
Alan, could you take Woody for a walk….I do not walk dogs.
Alan, could you get gas for y car….I do not get gas, too expensive
Alan, could you clean up your desk….I keep important stuff on top, like my camera. I do not do desks.
Alan, could you be a spare with my bridge club…I do not do bridge unless flattered as a helping husband
Alan, could you clean the windows, the grandkids are coming….I don’t do windows.
Alan, could you at least hold the ladder?  ….suppose I could

Alan,  I am very busy… Doing What Marjorie?

Now readers should not get too alarmed.  These are overstatements
meant to be self-decrecating.  Granted, however, they are close to the truth.
And I must make some changes.  I’m a man.  I can change. I think. Maybe.h Right now I do not know how to use the stove,
the washer or the drier  Nor do I know how used clothes get from our bedroom to
the laundry basket.   But I can change.

My indolence is not all my fault.  When we got married Marjorie politely asked
me to ’stay out of the kitchen’…a strategic error on her part.  And on my part as
well because I can no longer look after myself.  Marjorie was a professional…a 
U of T  Home Ec grad.

 Before marriage I was a prospector and had a crew to look
after.  We rotated the cooking.  Ate a lot of porridge and French toast.  Self-reliant.
Was even skilled at cutting the first slice from our sides of sowbelly (bacon) because that’s
where the blow flies laid their larva every day.  Gross, I know that.  Marriage
ended that bit of self-reliance.  Marjorie even joined our bush crew one summer…cook,
seamstress, entertainer.  Entertainer?  Yes, she had to make a bathing suit
for Serge Lavoie….bathing suits were not needed until she arrived with her sewing machine which
was just a boat anchor at Mile 79 on the ACR because we had no electricity.
She had scissors, needles and thread however.  

Why does Marjorie do so much work?  Simple and admiring answer is that women are
natural  multi-taskers.  They can have three pots on the burners and a couple
of pies in the oven all at once while emptying the dishwasher and getting the daily


“Marjorie, today I am going to make rice pudding,” I announced last week.
“Wonders never cease.”
“Where is the rice…and brown sugar, cinnamon, raisons?  I have the milk”
“Just let me get the rice ready,” she interrupted and got The rice boiling.
“Rice is the essence of rice pudding, how do you expect me to be self-reliant?”
“Pay attention to the stove top. You could burn yourself or set the house on fire”

Bottom line, I really did not make the rice pudding.

Marjorie is a multi multi multi multi tasker.    Lucky man, Alan.


NOTE: STORY INCOMPLETE as family arriving from England.  Your job? Check to see if there
is a fine if you let Giant Hogweed grow on your land?  The plant is the very devil.  Caught us
unaware….again.  Must go to bed and send story as it is ….alan


alan skeoch
august 14,2022


John Windham wrote Day of the Triffids long ago wen I taught English at Parkdale C. I.  A movie was made as well
I  Wonder if he really knew about the
giant Hogweed?  This invasive plant is hard to get rid of because once it goes to see those
seeds can wait in the ground for 15 years to germinate.

My son’s Giant Hogweed persists even though he tried to remove it clothed head
to foot in protective gear…cut the plants to the roots, poured poison down
the throats of the roots and then wrapped the plants in garbage bags for proper disposal.
I am not sure what he meant by proper disposal.

Lo and behold….the Giant Hogweed came up again this year after a few yeas hiatus.
And this year it was not detected until the flowers became seeds.  Trouble…Trouble…Trouble.
What can be done?

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makes skin extremely sensitive to sunlight (phytophotodermatitis). If the sap gets onto your skin and it’s then exposed to the sun, your skin can blister badly. Blistering can then recur over months and even years.Jun 29, 2



                          (WITH special thanks to the Riddim Riders Reggae Band)
alan skeoch
Friday august 12, 2022

I really did not understand reggae music until this night.  The softness of this summer
evening was accented by the softness of the trio of reggae musicians.  What little  I did
know about Reggae was that its most well known leader was Bob Marley who grew
up in the violence prone Jamaica of the 1960’s.  I assumed the music would reflect its
origins.  Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!  The music and lyrics lamented the racism, corruption,
power seeking life in 1960’s Jamaica. Reggae urged people to Rise Up and rid their
society of the negative and to seek the positive. To choose love over hate.  I know
that is hard to do.  Bob Marley also found it difficult to do.

On Friday, August 11, 2022, about 100 people sat on lawn chairs at Benares and
were mesmerized by the soothing reggae music that evening.  Much to my surprise
one of my favourite Bill Withers songs was part of the evening performance…”Ain’t 
no sunshine when she’s gone.”  

Amazing how soothing a drum can sound when it is played softly.
Specially let me credit the Riddim Riders Reggae Band…Franklin Joseph on drums,
Carl De Souza on bass, Jonathan Rattos on keys, Mike Rajczak on percussion (one
of  whom was absent).


Who Is Bob Marley?

In 1963, Bob Marley and his friends formed the Wailing Wailers. The Wailers’ big break came in 1972 when they landed a contract with Island Records. Marley went on to sell more than 20 million records throughout his career, making him the first international superstar to emerge from the so-called Third World.

Early Life

Born on February 6, 1945, in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, Marley helped introduce reggae music to the world and remains one of the genre’s most beloved artists to this day. The son of a Black teenage mother and much older, later absent white father, he spent his early years in St. Ann Parish, in the rural village known as Nine Miles.

One of his childhood friends in St. Ann was Neville “Bunny” O’Riley Livingston. Attending the same school, the two shared a love of music. Bunny inspired Marley to learn to play the guitar. Later Livingston’s father and Marley’s mother became involved, and they all lived together for a time in Kingston, according to Christopher John Farley’s Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley.


REGGAE MUSIC is based on the concept of love … Love thy neighbour.  But it flourished in an atmosphere of gang violence
in Jamaica in the 1960’s where two rival gangs were prepared to kill in order to seize power.  Bob Marley tried to
quell the violence and his initial reward for being a peacemaker was to be shot at a Jamaican concert.  He sustained
a minor wound but insisted on continuing his concert.  All risks taken in an effort to bring the gang leaders together
He was partially successful.  Marley called the gang leaders to the stage and forced them to shake hands.  Which they
did.   Hope for peace followed.   But violence was never eradicated much to the disappointment of Bob Marley who
was given a United Nations award for his efforts to bring about peace in Jamaica and his efforts resonated through
the Third World where  climate of violence tore societies apart.

Bob Marley died young.  He was only 34 years old.  His influence however endures.


Get Up Stand Up
Song by Bob Marley and the Wailers

OverviewLyricsVideosListenOther recordingsArtists


“Reggae” comes from the term “rege-rege” which means “rags” or “ragged clothes”, and this gives you your first clue into the story behind reggae music. When it started out in Jamaica around the late 1960s, reggae music was considered a rag-tag, hodge-podge of other musical styles, namely Jamaican Mento and contemporary Jamaican Ska music, along with American jazz and rhythm & blues, something like what was coming out of New Orleans at the time. Most listeners didn’t even distinguish reggae from Jamaican dancehall music or the slowed down version of ska music known as Rocksteady, until possibly when the band Toots and the Maytals came along.  There songs served as a sort of public notice that a new style of music had been born and was staking its claim on the musical frontier.

Besides its sound, reggae music is frequently associated with the common themes in its lyrics. The earliest reggae lyrics spoke mostly of love, specifically romantic love between a man and a woman. But as the music and the musicians making it made their way into the 1970s, reggae started taking on a heavy Rastafarian influence. Now the love being sung about was not just romantic love, but cosmic, spiritual love, the love of one’s fellow man, and of God, or “Jah”. And when reggae singers weren’t singing about love, they were singing about rebellion and revolution against the forces impeding that love, like the extreme violence, poverty, racism, and government oppression they were witnessing or experiencing on a regular basis.

When reggae music reached more popular international acclaim was after singer Jimmy Cliff released a movie called “The Harder They Come” with a powerful socio-political storyline and an equally strong reggae soundtrack. This sudden global attention and interest in the music paved the way for possibly reggae’s biggest superstar, Bob Marley, to become a worldwide legend, and the name most associated with the genre. Today reggae music has spurred the innovation of a whole new range of musical styles, like modern Jamaican Dub, and been infused into many other popular genres, like hip-hop and rap. Yet still you can find bands in every corner of the world playing that authentic, roots reggae like it was when it started out in Jamaica over 50 years ago.



alan skeoch
august 7, 2022

Dań Bowyer often takes the episodes a little deeper.  In this case
he found a great photo of W.C. Handy with his ‘Memphis Blues”
highlighted. (SEE EPISODE 619)




“WHAT is that huge thing under our boat, Barney?”
“Basking shark…harmless.”
“must be 20 feet long”
“I think it wants these mackerel, master Skeoch”
(Why does Barney keep calling  me Master Skeoch?)

I also received word from Tracey and Jamie Dineen that their grandmaster
Barney Dwan had passed away.  Barney was my key man in Ireland
way back in 1960 when we became part of  a team considering the
reopening of a 19th century copper mine near the village of Bunmahon.

Barney led me on some great adventures.   Just the kind that 22 year old
boys/men love.   Before arriving in Bunmahon I saw the movie The Quiet Man
at a theatre in Dublin.  I recommend readers try and see the movie
as i write my memorial to Barney Dwan who I called Bandy because
the Irish spoken on the south  coast did no seem to use the later ‘“r”,
Every time I asked Barney a question the whole team of ten local
Irish men burst into laughter.

The strangest thing has happened as a result of writing my Irish episodes.
People have sent me email letters expressING their joy in remembering
that magical summer of 1960.  Some will not understand how
that is possible.  I think you need to be Irish to fully appreciate
what happened that summer.  

So I will be writing my memories of a great young Irishman
in the next episode.  BARNEY DWAN.  Some of  the stories
were part of previous episodes but they are worth repeating
because Barney made them happen.

Hope you can come along for the ride.