We’ve had movie stars here before. And in out of the way places. Mary Theresa Hynes’ first cousin’s friend met John Wayne down a boreen in Cong when she was bringing home the cow for milking. She got such a fright she hopped the wall and hid behind a hedge til he passed. Egit. The poor cow was left swinging her teats by the grass verge wondering if this was a new route to the cowshed. Then didn’t John Wayne hit it a slap on the arse as he was passing and it tore off down the boreen in the opposite direction to the house. You think he’d know better with all the cowboy movies he did? He’s lucky he didn’t get a kick in the goolies from the cow. There’d be no westerns for him for a while if that happened. He’d have his arse in a sling. Anyway, didn’t the cow run so fast that the poor creature left a trail of milky splashes in its wake and it took Mary Theresa’s cousin’s friend the best part of half an hour to corner it, calm it down and turn it back. She hadn’t much time for John Wayne after that, but wasn’t it her own fault in the first place? Who hops a wall when a movie star is coming? Complete egit.
Closer to home didn’t Paul Newman nearly run Mrs Broderick, our local nurse into the ditch up the Moy Road. He came round Hynes’s bend like the clappers in a huge black car and she nearly went over the wall trying to avoid him. She said that only for Peteen Hyne’s hadn’t closed the gate to his field after bringing the cows for milking she would have been buried in the front bumper of Paul Newman’s car. Peteen took due for credit for saving her life. He said ’twas lucky it didn’t happen a half-hour earlier or he could well have lost an animal to Mr Newman’s negligence.
“Movie star or no movie star, he can’t be flying round roads like that where there’s animals concerned,” was Peteen’s judgement, to which all agreed. ‘Twas high drama for the Moy Road at that hour of morning.
Credit to Mr Newman, he made sure Mrs Broderick was all right and he shook her hand before heading onwards. They talked a little too. You never saw a happier woman left standing in the brambles. She visited every house in the parish, including ours, for a cup of tea ‘to help with the shock’. Everyone knew ’twas only an excuse to share the dirty details of her adventure but no one minded. He was a big movie star after all, so it was worthy of hearing.
“’Gee Miss, I’m so sorry. I hope you’re alright’ says the bauld Paul to me” she gushes to Mother.
“And he called me Miss. Miss, not Mrs. More than once I might add”.
He was a smart man that Paul Newman. Auld ones like Mrs Broderick love that sort of thing. It makes them feel young. With a compliment like that he could have left tyre tracks on her first-born’s head and she wouldn’t have cared. No talk of the Garda, or the Courthouse even then I can tell you.
“And the eyes on him!” says Mrs Broderick to Mother.
“Glorious. They’d cut through you, like the blade of a knife. Sapphires they were. Azure blue. I’m telling you ’twas like looking into the waters of the Mediterranean”.
“Really?” said Mother and she hanging off every word like it was gold. And then, didn’t the two of them start giggling. Not laughing mind. Giggling. ‘Twas disgusting. Then Mother told me to get out and take some fresh air. Feck that. She only wanted me out so they could talk shite about Paul Newman, and the pair of them married. And the age of them. I went straight into the back yard. Hens were better company than the two dirty articles inside.