Stories From Ireland
& Other Beautiful Places
Snippets of people, places, happenings and life
By Margaret Ross Lane
Copyright 2015 Margaret Ross Lane
Published by Margaret Ross Lane at Shakespir
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1. Orange Haired Angel
Beautiful green fields full of stone walls and sheep surrounded Ballymagill in the West of Ireland. The road from Mrs. Newhouse’s cottage into the small town was long and winding. Although it sounds like a Beatles tune it was true nonetheless. The morning rain had passed and the sun peeked around the clouds, a lovely day for a walk.
After a few days of unpacking and enjoying the cottage I wanted to get my bearings and take some postcards to the Post Office. Standing outside the grocery shop I noticed a young woman with a stroller (a pram, I suppose) coming up the sidewalk. She had a huge head of wild, wiry orange hair. Although she was thin, her face was very round. She wore a black ankle-length long-sleeved dress and was bedecked with silver neck-chains and bangle bracelets half way up her right arm. She wore thick, heavy brown shoes and wire framed glasses.
She stopped dead in front of me. The pram was almost on my toe. She closed one eye as if to better focus and asked, “You the American lady that’s in Mrs. Newhouse’s cottage?”
I nodded. “You American then are ye?” she repeated.
“Uh huh, my name’s Sweeney Huckleberry.”
p. “Huckleberry?” She laughed uproariously, bracelets jangling, right hand rocking the pram vigorously. “I think that Opie kid played Huckleberry, didn’t he?” she asked.
“That kid who played Opie,” she explained, as if to a child. “He played Huckleberry Finn in some movie. I read that someplace.”
“Oh. You mean Ron Howard?” I said. “Sorry but I don’t know.”
“You know him though, heh? Opie. He did that Cocoon movie, about them old people in Florida, USA. I’m nuts about that movie.” She didn’t wait for a reply, but continued. “Do you know Brad Pitt?” she queried, her eyes closing again.
“The actor? Goodness no, sorry. I don’t even like his movies,” I told her. Her eyes popped opened and she looked as if I’d slapped her. I believe she was about ready to cry.
“Well,” I added quickly. “Thelma and Louise was excellent. He was in that, right?”
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This first story from my Irish travels centers on Angel B. Halloran and her baby named Bradpitt. I met her in the town of Ballymagill in the West of Ireland. Sweet as she was, Angel was also crazy about actors. We go from Ron Howard to Brad Pitt to Peter O'Toole and end up with a story about Robert Redford. I hope you enjoy the Orange Haired Angel.