On a trip to Europe after our freshman year in college, Mac, Goodbody and I went to a fair number of places on the continent, and ended up outside of Dublin at the home of Goodbody’s cousin “Uncle” Jack and his sister “Aunt” Elizabeth — a wonderfully interesting brother and sister duo who had lived together all of their lives (at least I believe that is the case). In their late seventies (again I think) they lived on a family farm where Elizabeth churned butter and cream and grew a huge variety of vegetables and fruits.We ate our meals in their formal dining room ~ I have memories of the deeply shined wood of the table and laces doilies. At breakfast, most splendidly, we had toast with Elizabeth’s fresh butter, and berries. Until I met Elizabeth and her berries (and cream, I admit) I had only eaten strawberries. I was a bit nervous to try the blueberries and raspberries — but I forged ahead, dousing them in Elizabeth’s homemade cream: instantly I was in heaven. Simple and magnificent, for me it was truly one of the highlights of our European trip.
Ireland was impossibly green and beautiful, and the quiet beauty of their home and surroundings a perfect way to end our trip. As it turned out, Mac and Goodbody went home on time and I went AWOL in Spain with a guy we had met on the ship going over. My delay in travel made it possible to attend the Dublin Horse Show. Jack is pictured here with a friend of his at the show. Jack had been the head of the Irish stock exchange, and looked very much the senior broker in his natty outfit and bowler derby.
Jack and Elizabeth were most amazing people. Being in the world they had created for only a few days left a profound imprint, and a love of raspberries and blueberries that can’t be satisfied. That’s the truth about most first loves, I think, no matter what they are.