My hometown is many things.
The place where my family has lived for nearly two centuries.
The home of Canada's oldest Shell Gasoline Station.
But mostly, it's home to Canada's Bloodiest Massacre.
Yes, The Black Donnellys, so oft referred to as Canadians Tragic Roustabouts, is second most popular reaction to my response "I'm from Lucan"; the first is a blank stare.
The fact that hundreds of people own "Tales of the Donnelly Feud", written and performed by
Earl Heywood "Canada's Number One Singing Cowboy!" (I shorten his title to "Number One Singing Cousin"), or have caught wind of Lucan since A&E christened the village as "the second most haunted place in North America", do little to expand what is a rather cursory recognition of my birthplace and its rich history.
Finally, I met someone to whom the mention of "Lucan" sparked a synapse deep within the recesses of his mind.
A- "Lucan? North of London?"
B- "You got it, Pontiac."
A- "'The Shillelagh'?"
B- "Yep. It used to be on the north end. . ."
A- "That's the first place I ever saw a stripper in a champagne glass!"
And so it went. He recalled the evening in vivid detail, as if retracing his snow-packed footsteps from the evening. Footsteps which led him to a motel room conjoined to the back of The Shillelagh for a 'roll'.
Lucan, for him, was a special, mythical place. Just like it is to me. But for different reasons.
I, to date, have no place where a stripper has performed in a champagne glass for my mind's eye to drift mistily back to. Lucan no longer affords such bourgeois luxuries to the areas lustful Irishmen; so sadly the first generation of Goddard men in quite a while must make their memories elsewhere.
Township of Biddulph Lucan Council, this be a baton I fling from my failing hand to you.