Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring in Collinsville

I don't have to tell anyone how brutal this past winter has been here in New England but it wasn't until last night that I realized the effect it had had on me. That realization came by way of a walk along the "rails to trails" pathway in Collinsville accompanied by Larry Kirwan, founder of Black 47. It was bordering on 6:30 PM and here I was, actually strolling along the river in my dark green Ireland Special Olympics tee shirt from 1995. Yeah, I know...corney; but that's been my traditional garb for St. Patrick's Day for years and this night was destined to have all the elements of that holiday minus the green beer. Anyway, somehere during our conversation about Larry's early days in the states, it struck me that winter is over. The four feet of snow in my backyard is gone, the daffodils are popping, and there are those touches of nearly fluorescent green appearing on the willow trees. Not sure if it was the change in temperature or the warm personality of my walking mate that made me take notice. In any case, by the time our chat turned to his brief description of the creation of Liverpool Fantasy it was time to head back to 41 Bridge Street for tonight's one man show. Larry's "Rock and Read" performance turned out to be a real treat for the devoted and appreciative fans. As expected, his musical selections, which included: Forty Deuce, Livin in America, and the controversial Downtown Baghdad Blues, among others, held the crowd's attention throughout the evening. His readings in between songs from his most current novel Rockin' the Bronx, along with excerpts from his memoir, Green Suede Shoes: An Irish-American Odyssey filled in some of the blanks left from our earlier conversation. All in all, it was a great night in Collinsville. Spring had come.

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