Wednesday, November 24, 2004

In Canada, it's called 'Sparkling White'.

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.
Rich farmland.

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.


Anonymous said...

I happen to have an original copy of the album written by my distant cousin Earl Heywood. Do you think anyone would be interested in getting a copy??

Anonymous said...

As a former Lucanite (and member of Holy Trinity) and yes I do remember the three "wise men from Budapest" and Renfield in Medway's Dracula, I'm glad to hear that other Lucanites are doing well in the world. My aunt and uncle were the ones who bought the Shillelagh and turned it into the short-lived Lucan Inn. We shall toast a steam whistle in it's honour!

B said...

The Three Wise Men and Dracula--why, you've sampled a lot of culture!
A toast is in order--to the party place that once was--and the haven for chiropractors it now is!