A Man in Mullingar
"A sense of humor...is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life."
- Hugh Sidey
We met Dermot at Weir's Pub and Restaurant in Ireland. That's one of the many wonderful things about Ireland, people engage with you and they are kind to everyone. They know the fine art of being welcoming and friendly without being intrusive.
We chatted with Dermot for a long time and he shared that he was born in Kilkenny but his job brought him to the Mullingar area where he worked as a psychiatric nurse, behavior modification therapist, and alcohol/drug therapist. He served in the military from 1974-1983, and he also shared that in 1996 he was the recipient of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Sash. What a life, and still a lot of life to live.
A funny thing happened when he was introducing himself. With all the noise in the pub, I thought he said his name was Dermis, and I repeated it back to him when introducing myself and my son. I asked, How do you spell that so that I get it correct on my blog? He looked at me and said, "Dermis" (or so it sounded amidst all the loud talking and music). So, I said, Oh, as in epidermis? He laughed. I then asked him to spell it out on my phone since I could not hear him very well. He spelled "Dermot." I started laughing, he started laughing again, and the rest of the evening he had a new nickname, Epidermis. Many laughs, good memories.
Thank you, Dermot, for the kindness, the conversation, and all the laughs.
Hugh Sidey (1927-2005), quoted above, was an American journalist who worked for Life magazine in 1955, then moved to Time magazine in 1957. He covered the White House for Time for almost half a century. He was with Kennedy in Dallas and Nixon in China, staying close to some presidents after they left the White House, he remained friends with Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush. He was active in the White House Historical Association and co-wrote a book, The Presidents of the United States of America.