Old Friends, Old Memories, New Future

Just the other week, I attended the launch event for the Kilkenny Roots Festival 2018. I had been away all day delivering sales training and after arriving home the thought of heading out again filled me with dread.

A quick phone call later, and I was out of my arm chair on in the car to town. Boy was I glad I did - not only was it a fab night of music, and food, but the launch remembered a Kilkenny man who had passed away a few months ago. A man whom I knew from my school days, but as can happen over the years had lost touch with. His name, Willie Meighan. Willie had a record store in Kilkenny Rollercoaster Records known as “the Happiest little record store in the world”, and that it definitely was.

I spent many an hour in there flicking through CD’s and Willie always had direction to give if he knew what kind of music you were into. So what started out as an evening where I just wanted to plonk in front of some mindless TV programme now was a journey into my past. As speaker after speaker at the launch came to microphone I began to understand the impact Willie had on so many lives and how important he was to the music industry even cities in the USA had remembered him in a big way.

Little did I know that this quiet man with a wonderful family who lived less than 100 meters away from where I grew up had silently been a force in music. Happily as the stories continued I began to see faces from my past in the crowd, school friends, old band mates who I had played with all I have not crossed paths with in too many years to think about. Willie’s brother and sister were there too and I got to have a short chat with them (wonderful).

My mind and heart were racing with joy, memories, stories, laughter and maybe even some regret of what may have slipped through my hand in those passing years; But that’s life and we must look to the future not the past. Now that I am living back in Kilkenny and with the Shenanigans Walk I am thoroughly enjoying reconnecting with my past, the stories, the places… in fact as I am writing this, an email from my old school CBS Kilkenny has just landed in my inbox – talk about timing! Wow, now I have amazing memories of winning the No Name Club competition, and if memory serves me Willie was part of that winning team too but that’s a story for another time.

So I was happy, truly happy to catch up with friends of the past, hear how they are and how life has been and chat fondly of an old school friend and his life and the broad impact he had in Kilkenny and beyond. So next time you receive an invite, don’t questions it – just get up and go – who knows where it will bring you and what doors it might open.

I leave you with the words of a song that I have not heard in many years but twice in last week I have heard it, once at the Dublin Magiccon and again last week at a funeral of a young Kilkenny man also taken too soon, but boy oh boy did he have one of the most amazing send offs I have ever experienced…….

No one is gone until forgotten so tell their stories and they will live for ever.

 

The Parting Glass

To memory now I can’t recall

So fill to me the parting glass

Good night and joy be with you all

Oh all the comrades that e’er I’ve had

They are sorry for my going away

And all the sweethearts that e’er I’ve had

They would wish me one more day to stay

But since it falls unto my lott

That I should rise and you should not

I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call

Good night and joy be with you all

Good night and joy be with you all