Saturday, April 15, 2006

Me Oul Flower

This is my dear friend, Bernie Morris, 1949-1998, former President of the Armagh Association of New York, to whom I dedicated the US version of The Hunter’s Moon. I first met him when I was 16, at a cĂ©ili in NYC, above the Old Shieling. That was the beginning of a friendship which lasted until he died. We shared a birthday, a passion for Irish dancing and music, a visit to Cardinal O Fiaich in his palace in Armagh, a love of parties, and a propensity for the drink (before I quit). In his younger days, he hired out his own "Rent-a-Crowd" for Irish-American social functions, both private and business. The crowd included musicians, dancers, singers, and party-people led by Bernie, a modern-day madcap Bacchus. He was a cultural entrepreneur, a wheeler-dealer, a Yank with a big cigar in his mouth, a rapscallion, even a hellion at times, full of mischief and fun. I am heartsore that he will not be there when I tour America this year. Such a hooley we would have had!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the memory of Bernie! He was my teacher when I was young and I think of him as my daughter dances now. He began my love of Irish dance and I have passed that on to my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie Morris was my irish step dancer and I still have so many vivid memories of him and those classes. It was always so much fun, but we learned the stories behind the dances too.He was a great teacher and the wild bus rides full of music and song on our way to to feis were unforgettable! (as was his cologne!)