Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Dundrum History, cont. June 18, 2010

Filed under: First World War,Local history — Janet @ 9:02 am

I seem to be on a local history sidetrack.  Yesterday en route back from our visit with our friends we met a man crossing the Dundrum by-pass just near the library.  He looked familiar, we exchanged pleasantries, and then scurried across the road – the pedestrian crossing green light doesn’t give us oldies much time – when we’re only half way across the green turns to yellow.  When we were safe on the other side the man asked me if I had found any more books on Irish history.   Ah – you were the man I met at the Taney Church fete last Saturday.  You were at the book stall and helped me look for books on local history.  Alas I answered his question, only the book by Geraldine Mitchell.  He looked blank.  Further I added, she wrote Deeds Not Words The Life and Work of Muriel Gahan.

Again that drew a blank and we moved on.  We talked about the local history books about Dundrum written by J. (James) Nolan.  I told him I had been looking at those books in the library and that my copies were in much better condition.  (My copies are in Seattle.)   He wondered how I was interested in this topic since I wasn’t native to these parts.  People seem to know immediately that I am a foreigner so to speak – and it is the speaking that gives me away.  So I explained that we were here in Dundrum over 40 years.  Ah he said, a “blow-in”.  Now if there’s one term that really irritates me it’s to be called a “blow-in” – it makes me feel very unwelcome.  He proceeded to apologize profusely and go on to say that one could be a “blow-in” even if born just a few streets away.  Anyway, I digress. 

He proceeded to tell me about a relation who had served in the First World War as a member of an ambulance crew and over a period of 2 years had written home regularly, home being  Dundrum I was lead to believe.  The family has preserved these letters and a book has been written about them.  The book is at the printer now and will only be available privately.  Alas, an elusive and tantalizing source of local history.

Incidentally I also noticed the book that the man was carrying – Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, a book about Afghanistan.  The conversation could have shifted far across the world if only Ian had not gone on ahead,  I felt it was high time I caught up with him before he disappeared altogether and I missed my luncheon date.


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