Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Tá grá ag d'athair duit."

Michael Raymond Cassidy. 1938 - 2011.

Here's a tale:

When my father passed away, my older brother and I took upon bringing the news to the patrons of his (far too) regular drinking haunt - my father had fallen outside the pub and it had landed him in hospital. Of course, it being a local pub in Ireland everybody had already heard (deaths are big news in Ireland) and before we knew it, pints of stout were being hoisted in our direction and people struggled to find sympathetic things to say. (The Irish are generally an open and empathic bunch but not so much here. A dusty web of regret, resentment, repression and finality hung over everything. This was a place where older men, in towns all over Ireland no doubt, of a certain temperament and generation came to wait out their lives. An elephant's graveyard.) We sipped the pints (well it would have been rude otherwise, right...?) and eventually myself and the brother noticed a collection of maybe ten to twelve walking sticks hanging above over the bar, looming. The barman noticed and - almost proudly - informed us that these were the walking sticks and canes owned by previous customers who had passed away inside this bar over the years. We scoffed in disbelief. "No," says the barman, "sure if you look closely you can see the names on the side there."

To use an apt cliche: A chill filled the room. My brother and I glanced at one another. We sank the pints as quickly as humanly possible and left...

In more mundane ramblings, this piece spewed from me over a weekend back in Los Angeles not long after the funeral. I was always struck that for my father, he didn't want company when he went to the pub. He wanted to be alone, drinking his pint. It practically drew itself.

In even more mundanity, I love Eduardo Risso's art for 100 Bullets. Stark blacks and whites and wanted to do something in that vein.

2 comments:

Kristina Bustamante said...

The B&W style of this reminds me so much of Hayashi's work, but looking at the characters lets me know that this is yours. Slick piece, and the bar design is so pretty!

MICK CASSIDY said...

Thanks Kristina. I was completely immersed in Eduardo Risso's stuff from 100 Bullets (You can check his link out on the right...!) when I was doing this.

Like Ken, he's just a fucking master of that stark black/white high contrast. Mine doesn't really come close but it's on its way.