“The vainest, most slap-happy and irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect.” —John Steinbeck
I think I know what Mr. Steinbeck meant with the above quote. I felt that sense of wonder and respect when I walked through the town of Westport, County Mayo in 2001. It hit me unexpectedly as I set foot in the house where my grandmother was born. A draíochta (Irish for magical) feeling came over me. Travel has a way of touching us deeply.
Perhaps that is why so many folks have far off destinations on their bucket lists. I wish I had taken a road trip to the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore with Max when he was still with me. Max was devoted and willing. Named after a man I admired, Max Weiner, about whom The Historical Society of Pennsylvania had this to say:
“Max Weiner was the founder and executive director of the Consumer Education and Protective Association (CEPA), founded in 1966; this organization fought utility companies, public transportation companies, automotive companies, and other major parties in order to secure rights for consumers.”
For me, one word described Max Weiner: scrappy. So it only made sense that when I went to the Morris Animal Refuge to find myself a dog, I brought home the scrappiest of them all and named him Max.
Perhaps I will make it out to Mount Rushmore. Basically a straight shot west, a little over 1600 miles. Anyone interested? Max would have been. He walked with me every week as I prepared for the Dublin Marathon in 2001. Dogs have a way of touching us deeply.
If South Dakota is not on your bucket list, how about Italy? The fabulous Fanny Cruz and I are cooking up a Italiana Avventura. This may be another of my cockamamie (not an Irish word, but absolutely American) ideas, but hey, they are some of my best.
- if you are interested in supporting the Morris Animal Refuge on their mission to help the homeless, abandoned, and unwanted pets in the Philadelphia area, consider attending the 23rd Annual Fur Ball.
- If you are interested in touring Italy in October please read here and get back to me.
- If you haven’t felt wonder and respect for the natural world lately, let’s road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota! At the very least, take a stroll down Kelly Drive. If you really want to work towards a draíochta experience, read this article and give it a try.
Most of all, have a magical day!
Let’s get together soon.