When you look through a window, what do you see?
I suppose it depends whether you are looking out or looking in. I have on occasion looked out while looking in. This happens in my back garden when the sun is shining. Looking towards the glass I see a reflection of the garden, no wonder the birds are forever stunning themselves and landing in a heap on the ground.
Sometimes looking out through a window, the view or some aspect of it, turns my thoughts inward.
This happened to me on Saturday while at the Waterfront Hall. We stopped for a quick coffee in one of the bars and as I moved to sit by the window my eye was drawn to a sculpture on the other side of the glass.
A gentleman sitting on a barrel. By his side and at his feet were the tools of his trade. He was a Cooper.
We did not have the opportunity to go out onto the roof level for a closer look at the sculpture or find out who the Sculptor was. To be honest I never asked I will go back and ask some day. I became engrossed with the little man on the barrel. I was thinking of ‘Red Dick’ a man I never met. By the time I awoke from my reverie it was time to move on to the next level.
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Red Dick was my maternal grandfather and he was a Cooper by trade with one of the Distillers in Dublin in days gone by. Alas, he died before I was born. The ‘Red’ in his name came from the colour of his hair, it was much the same as Tommy’s! In fact he came from Murroe, Co Limerick, a place mentioned by Tommy the other day. I have talked about that branch of the family in a Podcast back in August 2007. Our records go back to my 3rd Great Grandfather (1763-1836) and a branch of the family is still in residence. In the Great Potato Famine c.1854 the old Homestead was a soup kitchen with funds provided by American Quakers.