Following is the note I sent President Carol when I submitted this Podunk Pines story, when she had actually asked me to write one for April:A couple of days ago I sat down to write a Podunk Pines story for April -- and then as I was typing, this Irish fellow jumped right into my typing fingers and caused the whole story to change. I suppose it's because I am Irish, and St. Pat's is nearly here.Anyway, I don't know if this story is reaching you soon enough for a St. Patrick's program, but I had fun with it. The town in the story, Ballynolan, comes from the town in Ireland where my ancestors are from, Carlow. Nolan is our family name, so Ballynolan is the "Place of the Nolans." It is fictional. In 1994 when my three older grandchildren were 18, 16 and 10, I took them to Ireland and we visited Carlow, and I actually did a make-up at the Carlow Rotary Club. I rented a car and drove there from Dublin, bumping curbs, telling the children not to make a single sound when I had to make a right-hand turn into the left lane, and being honked at a lot. Devin, the 18-year-old advised me, "Grandma, if I ever get out of this car, I am not getting in it with you again!" (I told him he had no sense of adventure.) Then ten years later -- in 2004 -- Ron and I toured Ireland and we went back to Carlow and did a Rotary make-up. There were several Nolans in the club. They told me the first time, "Throw a rock in Carlow and you'll hit a Nolan." And I sat next to one who actually was a Member of Parliament. It was the day before my birthday, and he arranged a private tour of the Parliament Building in Dublin the next day. Quite a birthday present. So that's how the Irish Parliament got into my story.I had learned of my throat cancer four days before Ron and I left -- and even though I was uncomfortable, I am so glad we did it.So....anyway, this little Irish fellow, Sean O'Halloran, without my planning it at all, jumped right into my story. That's the Irish for you. They tend to be an impulsive bunch.
I do have a great deal of fun "being" Miss Truly because she can TALK!