Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Remarkable people

 Well time moves on and it wont be long until the Barnacle geese leave Clontarf and fly to Greenland and then the tiny swallows will come here from S.Africa. Things keep on moving.

So the most remarkable person I ever had the pleasure of meeting was Chuck Feeney, he invented something very simple and became a multi Billionaire. He decided after a while that God did not give him the money just to buy expensive cars, big houses and live the high life. So he decided to do good with his fortune. Thousands of college scholarships were given to black kids which diverted them from the Vietnam war. He built a 200 bed hospital in Vietnam and kitted it out. Limerick university and the list goes on.

He gave away 8 Billion dollars.

I wrote to him when I learned what he had done and we stayed in touch for more than 10 years. Sadly he died at the beginning of the year.

Stephen Spielberg was another guy that I did not recognise, I did say that he looked similar, but he said that he was no one famous. I would not have got the fare but I was the only driver who would take dollars. We talked about movies and he asked me what was my favourite movie? Cinema Paradiso without a doubt. The lighting, the cinemaphotography, the casting of characters, God but Sicily is so beautiful, now most people do not know how important music is to a movie. It is totally overpowering. I am the one person who knows how important the music is.

We were going to the K club so we talked loads. At one point he took out a note book and started writing down one to the tales. "You're writing it down?"  There was a bit of a panic as he thought that I was objecting. I had to write that down as I would just hate to forget. I carry 2 note books and 2 pens  and I write down great ideas. When I get home those ideas are written into my diaries. One set of diaries is in a safe in my home, the other in my office. If I am stuck for an idea I will play Russian roulette and find an idea.

If a diary goes missing the  other copy is taken out and duplicated and the search for the missing one goes on.

Seeing as how he was involved in the movie business I told him about a shoot that took place in Tara with princess Hya and a Japanese pop star. (Name dropper) After filming all day I had the camera man sound man etc in the car. The camera man said that it was a totally waisted day as the wrong lens was in the camera. He could not tell the director as he would loose face and he would never employ him again. Stephen said that he would love if someone would look out for errors on his set.

So he asked me to come back that evening and bring him to Dublin and back down again. I said that it would be 4 journeys for me and I would be only paid for 2. Anyhow they have a super limo here and it would be much better. No I want to go with you. 

Measure one leg of the journey and I will give you 5 times that amount.

I am sorry but its my wife's birthday and I don't want to get killed.

So I headed back to Dublin, watching the Late Late show that night Pat Kenny introduced Mr nobody famous Stephen Spielberg who said. Hi John thank you so much for looking after me today and I hope that we meet again soon.

So for the guy I am looking for. He lived around Crossmaglen in the 1940s and he had a farm. A busy wee man he built a wind charger and made electricity. Then he built a valve radio. All the neighbours gathered round to observe the miracle. He built an aeroplane and flew it around until he was stopped as he had no pilots licence. He bought a thrashing machine and when the harvest was over he stripped it down to pieces and asked everyone in to look at the makings of it. They all said that he would never be able to rebuild it. Not only did he get it back he modified the manifold and got 2 horsepower extra from the engine.

So he decided to build valve radios as electricity was coming  into the country areas. He went to the bank manager in Carrickmacross who turned him down flat.  

So he sold the farm and went to America where he got a job in a convent as a handyman. Then one day he met a guy who was working for NASA. As they talked he discovered that the Irishman was thinking in a different way. They brought him to help design the space shuttle. The guy who was telling me this said that they all marvelled at how his mind worked.

When the moon landing happened they put a plaque made of gold on the moon and his name is on it bold and proud.

The guy who was in the car was doing a story about him and he wanted me to drive him, sure thats life. 

If the bank manager had given him the loan we might not have landed on the moon                            

Sunday, April 21, 2024

St. Valentines day 1981 Dublin

 Yesterday the enquiry into the Stardust ended. 

From 1981 until now has been a long hard road. 

They say that the fire started from an electrical fault. The fact that the fire escapes were blocked and the fire doors were chained up needs no enquiry as to what caused the 48 deaths of those young people. 

One family lost 3 of their children aged 18,16,and 22. What is beyond belief is that there really has not been a proper investigation in all the time that passed. 

I would love to have a proper legal eagle to go through it all.

Sutton cemetery has a mass grave, just across from Phil Lynott.

Pop in and give them all a prayer.

Christy Moore - They Never Came Home (Stardust Song) | The Late Late Sho...

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

A moment on a train in London

 Unless you don't know that canaries in cages were used to detect poisonous gases in the mines years ago this joke might go past you.

An assistant in a pet shop says to the lady who just came in. Madam I am not saying that your perfume is strong. But all the canaries in the cage were alive before you came in.

A moment from years ago came back to me.

We were on the train which was packed into London from Heathrow and there was a Russian girl standing beside me. Now I am the kind of person who will talk to a drop dead girl. I asked her if she was a model, she said no and asked me what made me say that. Her blue eyes were fascinating and she carried herself very well.

"Well no. I have just graduated from the London school of fashion" and she was starting her own clothing company to sell clothes on line. Wow that is so different. What is the name of the company. ??

Boohoo ! After a few minutes I said Fashion without tears. I will use that. You're welcome.

We talked on and soon. her station came up and I gave her a lift out with her bags. I put my hand out to touch her shoulder and she just slid into my arms and gave me a kiss on the lips. And she was gone.

Her company went from strength to strength.   Then the press got involved and said that her clothes were being made in third world countries with slave labour.

You know this is happening all over. Iphones are being assembled for 50c

She was one of these Russian billionaire families and her brother is now running the company.

I hope that those fantastic blue eyes are still smiling.