14th September, 2000


Dear Michael,
Congratulations on the production of the Douglas Weekly! It's wonderful! I was reared in Frankfield and went to St. Columba's School as a youngster. You cater for all sides of the community in Douglas and I'm glad to see you have not forgotten the elderly amongst us. They're the ones with the history and the interesting stories to tell. Maybe you might invite them to participate in the "Weekly" with a column of their own! Carer's are getting much more government backing now than in former years and there is much help available for the elders now, if only it got enough coverage. There are grants from the SHB for house repairs as well as all the aids mentioned by Cllr. Deirdre Forde on page 4 of your issue on the 10th August.
Sorry, but I had to smile at the sign you spotted on you way to Crosshaven (page 12 issue 3rd August). I was thinking of sticking a similar sign on the back of my car especially for those people who like to drive so close you can nearly see the colour of their eyes and then zoom out so fast you can hardly tell the colour of their car and usually as you are heading into a blind bend. They endanger their own lives, the lives of others, and then you'll find them parked outside the next shop. It doesn't make sense. I passed my test in Manchester when I was 25. I have driven all over Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, so I have a good deal of experience in all weathers and all traffic conditions. For the life of me I can't understand how our, wide-awake, alert youngsters can throw caution to the wind so easily. They risk their lives and their beautiful new cars, that I can only dream about.
Road manners don't exist in this country. Last week here in Bantry, I saw a Tourist in a German reg. Car, reversing out of a gateway. Having my "be nice to tourist's hat on", I stopped to let him out. Now I was stopped on a road where there was a wall on the other side, my brake lights were on, when along comes a young speed merchant who overtook me. He roared by doing about 90 in a 40-mile zone and missed hitting the tourist by a hair! Couldn't he see the situation? No! He just charged ahead, madness! Well, I tell you, if I had got hold of him he'd have learned a thing or two about courtesy on the roads. The poor old German nearly was a goner if he only knew it and all because this young yob couldn't wait a second or two. I think we should have us an overall speed limit of 55 M.P.H. as they have in parts of America
How Douglas has changed over the years. Glad to see you now have the Frankfield Bus. If only we had it long ago when we had to walk from Frankfield down to St. Columba's School alongside the Church, in my little hob-nailed boots (if you don't mind). I mean it we used to walk miles and the boots would have to last. I used always be late for school as I'd spend ages taking in the little shop window at the corner opposite Guard Dolan's house ('twould be opposite Daily's shop now). I'd be murdered then when I got into school. I was hopeless at long division and I'd be kept in at playtime and stood in front of the blackboard with a huge long division sum and there I would stand the whole of playtime trying to figure it out. One day I was caught by the pigtails and my face shoved into the blackboard so hard I got a bloody nose. I was promptly told to lie down on the floor with a huge key put down the back of my jumper. That was supposed to stop a nosebleed. It did nothing at all to help me do long division. In fact it just increased my hatred of long division all the more. Thankfully, in all my various career moves I have managed to avoid long Division and I don't think I could tackle it yet, and I'm over sixty. Some things are best left to the experts.
But there are things to be learned in life like the day I went "on the Lang" from school. I climbed over the wall, where the entrance to Shamrock Lawn is now and up the Glen which was part of the Woods belonging to Mount Vernon Estate. I sat in a sunlit glade beside the stream, eating my school lunch, when along came a Cock Pheasant. I sat stock still hardly breathing; he walked along by the stream pecking away. The magnificence of his feathers, all the colours, and the plumage and he looked me in the eye and walked right bye me. Well I learned more that day then I would in a week at school. It was a scene I will never forget. It was like being in paradise for a living second.
There was a big Walnut Tree up by the house (Vernon Mount) and I got loads of Walnuts. I stuffed my pockets with them. They have a green cover like Acorns; the only trouble is it stains your hands when you try to take it off. So when I got home to Mum with stained hands, the game was up, that's another story. But I never went on "the Lang " again. And to my dying day I will remember it as a day well spent. I looked a Pheasant in the eye and a Pheasant looked me in the eye. It's a memory worth having. God Bless - keep up the good work
Jody McGinn


ear Michael,
WOW! Aren't we becoming famous down here with Myrtleville news! Douglas Weekly is bringing old friends together who have lost touch. Hello Betty (nee MA. Kenna)! The McKenna's were very well liked here long ago. One Printers error I want to point out, "Ground rent 5 a week" should read 5 A YEAR"! Not enough with the entire collection to but a good suit!
The up side of having bungalows on the land meant that I got to know very nice people. We were great friends. The downside is that if I had waited until now and sold sites I would be very rich indeed. Nowadays, however, I would meet with longhaired or shorn hippies protesting at such a thing because I happened to be disturbing ants, slugs, snails, and rats! Funny Old World, isn't it?
About the O Regans Avenue Stone why do you not, Michael, come down with your camera and show it to the Douglas Weekly! I wonder if it was launched in a black bow tie and tuxedo event. If so I was not invited and of course I should be considering who I am! (ahem!). We must all try to be grand now! A nice bottle of bubbly would be appropriate but we could settle for Ballygowan.
There exists a photo when we had all green fields with the exception of a few farmhouses and cottages and not a bungalow in sight.
My grandmother used to say "Do not let in even one bungalow or you will rue the day!" Of course she did not believe in mixed bathing either and said she would go down to the beach and throw holy water on the brazen hussies who went "bathing in their shift (her description of the well covered up swimsuits of the time) with the men. What would she say today if she were to see bikinis and topless swimsuits on girls and indeed we saw one nude male perched on a rock. I thought I was in Gibraltar among the wildlife apes.
Joanna O Shea (O Regan).


Just a note to say "Thank you" for the two tickets for the 'Bee Gee's' on Sat. September 2nd We had a fabulous night out it was most enjoyable. We love the 'New Look' Douglas Weekly.
Thanks again
Teresa Twomey