Thursday, January 31, 2008

Final Guinan's Beer



I'm leaving the house in a few minutes for the last round of drinks at Guinan's. Tomorrow, the store will be closed. We went down this morning to say good-bye to commuters. Lots of them lingered in the doorway so long, they almost missed the train. One or two actually did miss the train.

We all seemed to be taking mental snapshots of what mattered most to us inside. The view of the Hudson from the bar; the red clock, wooden floors, candy counter, fire burning in the pub.

Fitz was down yesterday evening with two of his daughters. He says he refuses to say good-bye. I think he's probably right about that. You never really say good-bye to someone you truly love. It's more just, until we meet again ...

1 comment:

johnmac said...

I was there for the finale from about 10:00 PM to 2:00 AM -- and there was much singing from Jim, Scott, & Ray -- "Waltzing Matilda"; "The Dying Rebel"; "Galway Bay"; "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen"; "The Wild Colonial Boy" (Jim, at 82, was particularly animated during The WCB -- it was as though he momentarily slipped 40 years off his life) and, of course, "Danny Boy". There was a bagpipe, harp, and flute all played and the music provide some somber joy.

There was much talk -- about incidents such as the 'Hello Dolly" filming and Jim's conversation with Gene Kelly (and, years later, Gene's daughter); Jim's prowess at darts; and generally days gone by.

There was, of course, sadness at the closing -- yet I was struck with the feeling that we,the friends and customers, only feel this transitory sadness while Jim (and family) must feel real pain. We are sad for him .. and ourselves .. but he is having a part of himself ripped from his being .. and now he faces real change and, unfortunately, the unmentionable old age.

We can offer him only our thoughts, prayers, and love. As I told him when I was leaving (and he finished the stanza), "May the road rise up to meet you and may the wind be at your back"

John F. McMullen 2/1/08