My sister, Heather, is visiting. She’s come to take acting classes.
Last night, we took in a play… Major Barbara, written by Shaw, performed at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. I discovered that I’ve really got to concentrate to keep up with Shaw, but it’s worth the effort. His work is packed with meaning….
Heather has been spending quite a bit of time down at the Cobblestone. She goes in much later in the evening than I do. Evidentially late hours are the best for finding Tom, the owner, who is a night owl.
On Friday evening, I’d gone into the Cobblestone to hear some singing and I left at 9. Heather stopped in later and met even more of Tom’s family. She’d gone to thank Tom because he had taken her to see construction of a new theater that he serves as a member of the board.
I really enjoyed Friday evening there. Some of the songs transported me back to my first trip to Ireland in 2003. The country was quite a bit different at that time: songs were full of political strife and pubs were full of families, chatter, and smokey haze. The ban on smoking in pubs, apparent tightening of age limits in pubs, and the economic boom / Celtic Tiger all took their toll on Ireland’s pub culture. The country’s newfound peace also shifted the tone, and for the peace I’m grateful.
The Cobblestone, however, has managed to retain its charm. And it continues to do that despite being listed in every tourist guide. A lot of that, I believe, has to do with Tom’s warm and generous spirit. He makes every person feel special and welcome.
Heather left town today, but sent me over to hear Tom and his friends from the Cobblestone play at the Northside Music Festival in Wolftone ‘Park’.