Showing posts with label Max Wesimann. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Max Wesimann. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Puck Fair August 10, 1977 - When I met Hector Piggott


I have seen quite a bit in my three score years on the old Terra-  phones went off the wall and into my pocket, slide-rules became calculators, televisions won't work unless I pay not only my light bill, but a fee to a cable company.  Yes, it has been one interesting glide on the old pavement. Shucks, in no time at all Governor Pat Quinn will sign legislation that Noel Coward could have used with Clifton Webb ( both gents were gayer than 1890 picnics) to start having little Noel Webbs, or Clifton Cowards and singing show tunes around the Steinway in the parlor.

Wild stuff. Now, I have been to three Puck Fairs, fourteen Kankakee County Fairs, three hog call contests, but I have never seen anything like Hector Piggott.

 Ah, the The Puck Fair - packed pubs and plethorae pints; food items that would sicken a starving goat - like King Puck Himself. Voila! Black Pudding Eggs

Puck Fairs, you ask?  The Puck Fair* takes place in the town of Killorglin, in County Kerry Ireland.  I have been to three as I stated.  The Puck Fair is a wild festival notable for the hosting of Travellers from all over the British Isles. The Travellers are gypsies - folks who move about in Caravans, or recreational rolling homes - campers, RVs. They tend to be adept in the roguish arts -three card Monte, con games, bucket drop artists and the odd thief, or twenty in a score.

The Puck Fair is named for King Puck - a goat who is placed in a tower for the three days of the fair.  You will see fire walkers, bearded ladies and beardless laddies, snake charmers and charming snakes on two legs or less.  It is quite fun.

In 1977, after my sophomore of teaching high school, I went Ireland.  On August 10th I went to my sophomore Puck Fair - my freshman year Puck Fair took place in 1974, the year I took my Artium Baccalaureus from Loyola University, but had not encountered the Prodigious Hector Piggott, it was Golden '77 that this encounter took place.

I had a good time at the fair and generally kept my wits about me ; being a Catholic high school teacher blessed me with impecunity and thus, a small level of restraint as far as potent potables. I took in the sights and sounds and smells and generally avoided over-indulgence and occasions of getting my ass-kicked by the Pikeys, or the locals.  I was not lured to games of chance by Hibernian Hucksters nor gulled into an unseemly amorous ambush by the slatternly sirens who seemed to crowd out the causeway. Lovely samplings, but I declined.

It was a sign proclaiming - The Prodigious Piggott in the Tent Beyond -Absolutely NO Women Allowed, Clergy Included that hooked this fish.

For an entry fee of three Shillings, about $1.75 at the 1977 rate of exchange, I had to witness this marvel. Within a shabby and wind-torn canvas, there were no seats and barely room for man and boy, but wedged in as the show began.

A man in an Edwardian black cape that fair covered his naked ankles stood before the scores of gawkers. He was toothless, unshavenly homely and stood a full 6' tall.  With a flourish he opened the cape to reveal himself in his full Adam suit.   

The man of sixty years was gifted with Wedding Tackle that unprovoked and limp defied the hem of the cloak for mastership of his ankles.

"Them Canadian Mounties'd have no task trackin' this Yoke in the frozen North!"

" Cupid's Howitzer, so!"

"Aye, So! The Good Lord sh'pent long week plannin' that bosthun's pudding."

However, the Prodigious Piggott coaxed this appendage into full charge with a deft manipulation of his fingers and . . .. Behold Leviathan Itself!

The tent gasped in manly admiration and universal acclaim.  However, Piggott was not done.  With the Leviathan Rampant he managed to place three walnuts on a table and then proceeded to pummel each with a single stroke of Flesh Made Steel.

Sir Georg Solti never heard an applause like the one I added to in that tent.

In 1998, I returned to Ireland and the Puck Fair.  I was into the marrow of mid-life and recently widowed.  The entertainment afforded in Killorglin might knock the cobwebs from my soul.   I was astonished to see a sign pointing my path to a tent shrouding the majesty of  The Prodigious Hector Piggott.  I had to see this; my God, the man must be all of ninety.  He was.

He was yet a marvel of God's gift to man and talisman of the species.  Ninety years old and change and in his fullest of powers!

This time, however, once he had whaled the langer into full charge like a fire hose at 2/11 blaze, Hector Piggott placed three huge coconuts on the table and executed each one's demise with a single bludgeon from his Leviathan, sending chunks and bits of them brown hairy fruit in wide arches about the tent.

When the awed tent of Kerrymen retreated to Puck Fair Causeway, I had to ask The Prodigious Piggott - "Sir, why at your age did you select a larger and more robust target for your equipment?"

Drawing himself to his fullest height and the Edwardian Black Cape about himself, Hector Piggot cocked an eyebrow and offered,  " Me eyes ain't so good these days, Yank."

There by hangs this Tale.

*Puck Fair:1613 to TodayThere are many legends which suggest an origin for the Fair, many of which are wildly inventive, but there is no written record stating when the Fair started. It can however be traced back to a charter from 1603 by King James I granting legal status to the existing fair in Killorglin.
It has been suggested that it is linked to pre-Christian celebrations of a fruitful harvest and that the male goat or "Puck" was a pagan symbol of fertility, like the pagan god Pan.
The origins of the fair have thus been lost in the midst of antiquity, and various commissions set up over the past two hundred years have tried in vain to date them. Evidence suggests that the fair existed long before written record of everyday occurrences were kept as there is one written reference from the 17th Century in existence which grants Jenkins Conway, the local landlord at the time, the right to collect a sum for every animal brought to the August Fair. This would suggest that the Fair was something already well established in the local community.
With special thanks to Max Weismann

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Why Labor Will Lose in Wisconsin

American workers are the best. American labor made the standard of living that is being eroded by people who want the American middle class to disappear.

The issue in Wisconsin will not end well for organized labor. The skilled and industrial trades, in my simple opinion, made a pact with the devil by siding with public sector unions ( PACs in reality) and allowing the likes of Andy Stern to hijack not only the voice of labor, but the very meaning of the word.

Taxes and the salaries of public sector unions are paid by electricians, carpenters, millwrights, pipe-fitters, plumbers, auto workers, steel workers, engineers and industrial workers. These folks are American labor.

Here is the face of labor -hijacked labor - in 2011.

This is face of real labor This great photo was sent by Max Weismann

Friday, January 08, 2010

Max Weismann Presents -The Articles of Man

From the Executive Director of Center fro the Study of Great Ideas, Max Weismann, comes the codified Articles of Man - to be confused and fused with Man Law ( click my post title)

1: Under no circumstances may two men share an umbrella.

2: It is OK for a man to cry ONLY under the following circumstances:

a) When a heroic dog dies to save its master.
b) The moment Angelina Jolie starts unbuttoning her Blouse.
c) After wrecking your boss's car.
d) When she is using her teeth.

3: Any man who brings a camera to a stag night may be legally killed and eaten by his friends.

4: If you've known a guy for more than 24 hours, his sister is off limits forever unless you actually marry her.

5: Moaning about the brand of free beer in a mate's fridge is forbidden. However complain at will if the temperature is unsuitable.

6: No man shall ever be required to buy a birthday present for another man. In fact, even remembering your mate's birthday is strictly optional. At that point, you must celebrate at a strip bar of the birthday boy's choice.

7: In the mini-bus, the strongest bladder determines pit stops, not the weakest.

8: When stumbling upon other blokes watching a sporting event, you may ask the score of the game in progress, but you may never ask who is playing.

9: You may fart in front of a woman only after you have brought her to climax. If you trap her head under the covers for the purpose of flatulent entertainment (commonly known as a Dutch oven), she's officially your girlfriend.

10: It is permissible to drink a fruity alcohol drink only when you're sunning on a tropical beach ... and it's delivered by a topless model and only when it's free.

11: Only in situations of moral and/or physical peril are you allowed to kick another guy in the nuts.

12: Unless you're in prison, never fight naked.

13: Friends don't let friends wear Budgie Smugglers. Ever. Issue closed.

14: If a man's fly is down, that's his problem, you didn't see anything.

15: Women who claim they 'love to watch sports' must be treated as spies until they demonstrate knowledge of the game and the ability to drink as much as the other sports watchers.

16: A man in the company of a hot, suggestively dressed woman must remain sober enough to fight.

17: Never hesitate to reach for the last beer or the last slice of pizza, but not both, that's just greedy.

18: If you compliment a guy on his six-pack, you'd better be talking about his choice of beer.

19: Never join your girlfriend or wife in discussing a friend of yours, except if she's withholding sex pending your response.

20: Never talk to a man in a bathroom unless you are on equal footing i.e., both urinating, both waiting in line, etc. For all other situations, an almost imperceptible nod is all the conversation you need.

21: Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone. Hang up if necessary.

22: The morning after you and a girl who was formerly 'just a friend' have carnal, drunken monkey sex. The fact that you're feeling weird and guilty is no reason for you not to nail each other again before the discussion occurs about what a big mistake it was.

23: It is acceptable for you to drive her car. It is not acceptable for her to drive yours.

24: Thou shall not buy a car in the colors of brown, pink, lime, green, orange or sky blue.

25: The girl who replies to the question 'What do you want for Christmas?' with 'If you loved me, you'd know what I want!' gets an Xbox 360. End of story.

26: There is no reason for guys to watch Ice Skating or Men's Gymnastics. Ever.

*N.B. Man Law - 21 rule : No matter what, the 21 rule is always in effect. No matter what, no if ands or buts. Click my post title

Emphases -My Own

Sunday, October 18, 2009

God's Good Health to Max Weismann!

Today's Mass* and all my prayerful thoughts go with my friend and mentor Philosopher Max Weismann. Max heads the Center for the Study of Great Ideas and is one of the genuine stand-up guys in Chicago. Max stands in tall company with my Mom and Dad, Mary's Mom Alice & Chuck Holm, Nora, Conor, Clare, Willie & Kerry Winters & the Kids, Tom Mahoney, Bob Hylard, Nick Novich, Bart Winters, Charlie and Kate Olson, Jim Frogge, Tamara Holder, George Applegate, Mike McGill, Jack Higgins, Bernard Callahan, Chris and Mary Fogarty, Tommy Ward, Mike Holmes, Big Curtis Banks, Rich Lindberg, Rose Keefe, Thomas Hayes, Marquis Ball, Marty Tully, Tom Roeser,All my Cousins( in the hundreds), Mike Kennedy, Pat Buck, John B. Powers, Billy Higgins, Eddie Carroll, Boz O'Brien, Terry McEldowney, Mike Houlihan, Mike 'Pickle' Joyce, Mike and Anne Cullen, Steve Swerdeloff, Mike McQuade, Frank Nofsinger, Christine Flowers,Steve Rhodes, Mary Ann Roti, Rick Kogan, Rich Furlong, Jim Farrell, Dick Prendergast, and all the Leo Alumni, Patti Bidwill, Billy Helm, Lisa Hwang, Mel Cooney, Jim & Betsy Kennedy, La Lumiere School, The Kids at Leo, Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, Jim Durkin, Ed Maloney, Kevin Joyce, Skinney Sheehan, John Sheehan, Mary Terese and Steve Riordan, Elias Crim, Steve and Susan Jordan, Father Gallagher, Father, Gene Smith, Gino Ford, Cardinal George, Bishop Ray Goedert, Bishop Gorman, Joe Gorman, 6th District Chicago Police Department, Jack Quinn, Mary Pat McWalters, Mike Miller, Seb, Hasan, Tyrone, Tyrell, Mike, James ( all of 1440 N.Lake Shore Drive), Angel of the Pump Room, my Brother Kevin and Sister Joan, Jim and Gail Cleary, Mike and Shelby, My Nephews, Ollie and Martin McGarry, Joe Epstein, Gary Saul Morson, Kevin Baker, Dan Kelley, Anne Leary, John Rubery, Asher Fein, Sy Blitzstein,and the beautiful and elegant Terry Sullivan -to name a very few of the great people I am blessed to share my life on this earth. These people put the balm on Christ's wounds.

*Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10:35-45.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
He replied, "What do you wish (me) to do for you?"
They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."
Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared."
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Each of us prays in many different ways and I like to group all of the people I love into a bouquet of support and love for Max Weismann as he faces two tough surgeries this week.

Each of us has a Gethsemane, but they all should be prayers that merge as one.

God's Blessing and health to you, Max! From all of us!