Monday, March 17, 2008
In the mid-1950's my father went to Ireland while on leave from his Army posting in Germany. My childhood was peppered with many stories of his travels in Europe and Ireland, among them was his trip to Blarney Castle and his 'kissing of the Blarney Stone'. Dad always told us that he kissed it four times, once for himself, once for his future wife, and once for each of his two future children. He told us that he was dangled by a rope as he went down over the edge of the parapet in order to guarantee a story-telling future for the members of our family. We were appropriately grateful and pitied the families whose father hadn't sacrificed himself in that manner for them.
Legend has it, that a kiss of the Blarney Stone imbues the kisser with the gift of eloquence. My father, without a doubt, is the best story-teller in the entire world. I suspect that is the result of a great imagination, a well-read intellect and the culture of his southern family where story telling and conversation were as essential as the air they breathed but I'm not willing to rule out the power of that kiss of the Blarney Stone.