"Where Peggy's Still the Boss"

This is a tribute to the late, and by every account I've ever heard, undeniably great Peg Guinan, Jim's wife and mother of John, Margaret, Jimmy and Christine. It was written Philipstown resident Tim Donovan in 2003. Peg died in 1988 on Easter Sunday; she remains the pride of her family and was a pillar of Guinan's when alive.

Tim framed the poem as a gift for the Guinan's and it hung on a wall in the store until its closing. Ed Ashton took this photo of it before the store closed.


Back in the day when darts did fly
And Friday's train poured out.
The store would fill and Jim held court
For all form of man and lout.

Now as the moon does rise, merry makers come
Good Thursday of each month.
Then the life we knew
Of the old folks grew,
And the land their songs came from.

And Danny Boy, 'tis himself does sing
To no sound but a foot rhythm tap.
Then the pipes, tin whistles and strings combine,
In the store with the pub in back.

What's in a name, did Shakespeare say?
Then to Guinan's he never came.
For it's the man, great Bard, in this fair pub
That gives the place its fame.

Now a thousand folks claim kinship in,
Ten times that rounds it out.
But to be fair, no pedestal here
Whether elected
Or kicked out of the house.

The last honor bar does Guinan run,
It's a fact that's widely sown.
Hence the social drinker
Was granted this thinker,
Whose honor is widely known.

Good people most if they want in,
Good cheer, their tales and tears.
But if you swore then,
"Out the door",
"Don't blame it on the beer" !
And "gobshite" is his word
You might've heard
If it's politics you discuss
See if you spoke it, in voices clear
You were firmly told to hush.

Here on Sunday morn, traditions last
The news plus sweets for kids.
First they praise, then they make their way
To the store with the pub in back.

In gentle tones the topics join
Life's circle swings by often.
It's the talk of weather, neighbors and newborns
It's the woe of the sick and the fallen.

See it's a family place,
This fair store
In a town time once forgot.
Just its people and the river life
As time left it on this spot.

Still they come
The crowd's changed a bit.
Now in theatre, film, the arts.
Where beer is sold, boys and girls grew old
Some now seek wine to sip.
The best papers say we've all gone chic,
And we do make room for that too!
But slow to shed so much of this....
This pot of local stew.

So do much in the name of hist'ry
And all that's said worth saving.
Cause once its gone, one can't abide
A grand town with no place for living.

And now like Kelsey's nuts it's died
Tar the Highlands black with loss.
What Guinan made
John does it today
But where Peggy's still the boss!

Tim Donovan © 2003


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