To the Forest Park entrance I drive you;
You step from the car and move away.
I turn outside Brady’s and watch you
In profile on an ordinary day
As you walk towards Tunt’s, or Paul’s,
Each a friend, therefore your brother.
Eyes to the front as each foot falls,
You are heading for some fun or other
As you go through your life’s million paces.
And I’m glad of you, Sean, my lovely boy.
Three people fill my heart’s spaces –
Three people lift my soul with joy.
Filed under Memories, Poems
Sean was never really a huge watcher of television, as he liked to be outdoors whenever possible, or socializing with other people. Shortly before he died he contrasted the lifestyle of himself and his friends when aged, say, between 10 and 14 with that of the current crop … the latter spend far more time on technology, he reckoned. He was glad that he’d had the outdoor life.
Having said that, there were various TV shows that he liked over the years (some of which have probably slipped my mind). He and his sister were watching The Simpsons from quite an early age (he grew to dislike it, and went back to liking it in the past year or so).
Later Sean became a fan of the comedy Peep Show series, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. He also enjoyed South Park and Scrubs. He always liked and admired Frasier, and particularly the Martin Crane character. In recent months he had watched several series of a low-budget US comedy called Trailer Park Boys – he got his mum and me to watch one episode (Sean was always a proselytizer for the things he was enthusiastic about – he liked to share). Continue reading
I have been a fan of Bob Dylan since I was 16 (he’s the only artist of whom I would actually call myself a fan), so it was gratifying for me when Sean, quite recently, started to listen to him too.
I remember that when the children were around 10, we had a cassette in the car with some tracks from one of Dylan’s ‘official’ bootleg combinations. They particularly liked an early version of ‘Tangled Up in Blue’, and a song called ‘Seven Days’ from the Rolling Thunder tour. Later, on weekend nights, the four of us would sometimes take it in turns to choose a track from a CD to play (between us we have quite a few CDs), to which we all would listen. Perhaps this influenced their musical taste.
In the past year, I noticed that Sean was starting to listen to certain Dylan tracks quite a lot. ‘Wedding Song’ was a special one for him and Clio (as it is for his mum and me); also there were ‘Hurricane’, Forever Young’, a live version of ‘Shelter from the Storm’ that he found on YouTube, ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’, and, especially, ‘Blind Willie McTell’. The last of these is one of the very few great tracks that Dylan recorded after the 1970s, in my opinion … it ranks with his best ever. Continue reading
Sean took this a few years ago, in an outhouse across the road from us. The hand is that of his friend Aaron, I think. They had raised some dust, which gave an unusual effect. The old man who lived in the house had died some years previously, just before Christmas.
Many of the photos Sean took have probably been irretrievably lost … those that we have I shall post over a period of time. Some, we think, were on a battered disk drive that he used to take to college, which was probably discarded. He took some good ones of members of a Virginia rock band, for its promotional use. He also did the photography for a CD by a singer-songwriter.
Stevo and Sean
It was eight weeks ago yesterday that Sean died, after just 7,021 days on the planet. We still think about him all the time, of course. We talk about him a lot, and it’s hard to believe that we won’t be seeing him again.
When someone so young and so close to you is taken away, it makes you think deeply about life, death, existence, what it means to be human. It is a huge shock to the system. But the three of us in his immediate family have to get on with our lives … to work or go to school, as the case may be.
His friends are still leaving messages on various websites, saying they miss him more and more. He will never be forgotten … certainly not in the next 70 years, at least. Continue reading
Sean was always exposed to Irish music as well as rock, reggae, etc. … in the ‘music’ folder of his computer profile, along with Radiohead, Oasis, and all the rest, can be found The Dubliners. He knew that these songs were part of his identity and his culture, and those things were important to him – he also just happened to like them. They chimed with his own Irishness.
When Sean was around 10 he developed a love for Planxty … I remember him trying to sing ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’ exactly like Christy Moore, with somewhat unusual results. We encouraged him to try to find his own singing voice.
He continued to like Planxty all his life … we listened to the Well Below the Valley CD in the car quite recently. He also liked The Pogues and, especially, the Dubliners – he was a great admirer of both Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly as singers, and they embodied a certain spirit of fun and freedom with which he identified. Both Drew and Kelly, sadly, have passed on, like Sean. Continue reading