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Dying Man House

Ageless

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Cong Village, County Mayo Ireland. A scene from “The Quiet Man” has a man, on hearing a fist fight underway, jump from his death bed to run from this house on Riverview Street. This is the view heading east with the Cong River behind.

Dying Man House on Riverview Street is a popular photograph on my Facebook Photography page, to this day visitors leave comments with occasionally inside information about “The Quiet Man.”  Here are some examples:

Edward James Soul The dying man in the film was actually, John Ford’s (the director) brother in real life. And the actor who played the young priest was, in real life, Maureen O’ Hara’s brother. The movie is definitely a classic.

Diane Benson Morrow And 2 other brothers were in the film. The older priest and the man who met John Wayne at the railway station at the beginning of the movie were brothers.

Edward James Soul,you are in the right church but the wrong pew. The older priest was Ward Bond. The man who met John Wayne was Barry Fitzgerald. In real life he was the brother to Arthur Shields, the actor who played the Protestant Minister, ” Rev. Playfare”.  If you look at the two, you can see the family resemblance.

Diane Benson Morrow yes. I meant Arthur Shields

Edward James Soul, also remember the scene at the lnishfree race, where there were children sitting on a railing next to Maureen O’Hara? They were John Waynes children.

Kerry Keegan Mulhern  what was the name of Barry Fitzgerald’s horse?

Pauline Ryan Grew up and around the village of Cong lovely wee place its swarming with visitors most of the time but it’s nice and quiet for a few months of winter. It’s getting very commercialized but thank God there is very little room for it to grow.

Eileen Fitzgerald Uber So wonderful to maintain the precious buildings of the past.

John Feeley The guided tour of Cong includes the tourists playing a scene from the movie. I got to play the part of Barry Fitzgerald. I had one line…”Where’s me pint?” Type-casting?

Jackie Smith Just watched that movie this weekend.

Greg Thompson Will never forget our singing tour guide and the most glorious artisan shop ever there in Cong…….

Ethel Beth Gallagher That was John Ford’s brother. He’s the man who referred to Seaneen as “tall man” in the Pub and got the coat thrown over his head.

Kolokea Kakiki I didn’t realize that film was made in 1950! I watched it in the 70’s and loved it!

Diane Eiden Been there, it was great to see after watching the movie all my life. I believe Maureen O’ Hara grew up close to Cong, and spent her final years there.

Marnie Rosé This is on my bucket list of places I want to go and I only live up north .. my favorite movie 🎥 ❤️

Robin Axler Kupfer We really enjoyed our visit to Cong. Got some great poses of my husband and me on the Stone Bridge.
Enjoyed seeing where they filmed the race on the beach….charming town.

MichaelStephenWills Photography If you walk by the Abbey over the River Cong and forest path, you will recognize another shot from the film where Mary Kate and Sean walked along the river. 2

Ann McNamara Visited Cong a few MONTHS ago.Love taking photographs- so between Cong,the grounds of Ashford Castle,Ashford Lodge and Ballinahinch castle I was in 7th heaven.Lots of wonderful photos to use for my calligraphy + card making class in the Library over Halloween- if I can arrange it!!!!

Julie Dance I bet it is, my family are from co Clare, a little place called Kilkee, and I visit Killarney a lot got friends there.

Click this link to read the photograph’s story in my online gallery.
Click this link to read another Ireland story “The Cloigtheach of Glendalough.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Settled In

Inishmore Cottage among fields

An island cottage among fields along the Galway Bay coast, the twelve pins of Connemara beyond.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Notice the playhouse, a replica of the larger cottage.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

The How of Soil

Time and Hands

From the heights of Dun Aonghasa the karsk of Inishmore falls away for the sight of the twelve pins against Galway Bay.  These unworked, barren slopes have a pale green covering growing seemingly on air.  

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

On approach to Dun Aonghasa, Cottage Road dips closer to the road for this view of a field with enough dense grass for five cows to feed, the rest on the cushioning green. Where did this come from?

The answer is simple hard work, hundreds, a thousand years of hauling seaweed and sand, mixing it on the barren limestone, allowing the rot of time to work. Hold it down with roots, till and refresh.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Stone on Stone

Wide enough

Enjoying travel on a horse trap, a type of carriage, on Inishmore (Inis Mór), the largest Aran Island in Galway Bay we headed up Cottage Road from Kilronan, the main island settlement.  It was there we embarked from the Doolin ferry, hired the driver, his horse drawn trap.  Our destination an iron age fort, Dun Aengus (Dún Aonghasa, the Irish language name) and the sights along the way. 

The feeling of this blurry photograph is too good to let lie.  I just kept snapping away from the moving carriage, here we are descending a hill and moving a bit faster, the elevation provides this view of Galway Bay, Connemara and the Twelve Pins beyond.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

There’s a gate in the cow field, though some fields with cows were gateless. There is a simple answer to the mystery. At one point our driver stopped by his field and and demonstrated how the wall is pulled down to make an opening, the rocks stacked to make this easy. When the cows are in, the rocks go back up, a matter of 10 minutes or so to make a cow-width passage.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

What is a rock? What is a stone?

Daisies are a plus

Enjoying travel on a horse trap, a type of carriage, on Inishmore (Inis Mór), the largest Aran Island in Galway Bay we headed up Cottage Road from Kilronan, the main island settlement.  It was there we embarked from the ferry, hired the driver, his horse drawn trap.  Our destination an iron age fort, Dun Aengus (Dún Aonghasa, the Irish language name) and the sights along the way. 

Dry Stone walls abound throughout Ireland.  Ancient walls, buried in peat, were discovered in County Mayo and dated to 3,800 BC.  This is a field wall on Cottage Road with daisies growing at the foot.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Roadside Daisies against dry rock wall on Cottage Road, Inishmor

 

The wall is composed of stones, not rocks. I have read in places a stone is a rock put to use or shaped by human hands. Other usages have rock and stone used interchangeably. For example, an internet search on “Dry Rock Wall” will return hits on the same. “You pays your money and takes your choice.”

Sources for this post: search wikipedia for “Dry Stone”.

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Cottage Road Cottage

A traditional thatched, whitewashed cottage.

Enjoying travel on a horse trap, a type of carriage, on Inishmore (Inis Mór), the largest Aran Island in Galway Bay we headed up Cottage Road from Kilronan, the main island settlement.  It was there we embarked from the ferry, hired the driver, his horse drawn trap.  Our destination an iron age fort, Dun Aengus (Dún Aonghasa, the Irish language name) and the sights along the way. 

Our driver pointed out this traditional cottage with a small replica alongside.  Roof  We did not stop for a look as it is a private residence.  The front door has a large view of Galway Bay and Connemara beyond.

Click the link for my Getty IStock photography of the Aran Islands

Thatched Cottage with playhouse on Inishmore

Whitewash, a traditional exterior paint used on cottages, or Lime Paint is made from slaked lime. Here is a photograph of the powered product called another name for whitewash, Kalsomine. Click to make the image larger, to view the instructions.

Whitewash Powder with instructions. Yarloop railway workshops, Yarloop, Western Australia

Whitewash is different from paint as it is absorbed by the stone surface, becomes part of the stone. Successful application of whitewash, like paint, demands careful surface preparation. The coating just flakes off if not applied correctly.

Sources for this post: search wikipedia for “White Wash”. White wash photo author: Wikipedia commons user Gnangarra

Click me for the first post of this series, “Horse Trap on Inishmore.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Apollo 1 Anniversary

Memories from the catastrophe on Launch Complex 34

Here is the eighth, and last, in a series of photographs centered on the early history of space flight on Cape Canaveral mostly taken during a tour organized by the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation. “Google” the foundation for details of future tours. Here we remember the loss of the Apollo 1 astronauts on Launch Complex 34 (LC-34).

Test Mice

In “Launch Complex 14 Today” we visited the place where John Glenn launched into the first American orbital mission. In ” John Glenn: A Memoir,” Glenn writes: Friendship 7 crossed the African coast twelve minutes after liftoff, a fast transatlantic transatlantic flight. I reached for the equipment pouch fixed just under the hatch. It used a new invention, a system of nylon hooks and loops called Velcro. I opened the pouch and a toy mouse floated into my vision. It was gray felt, with pink ears and a long tail that was tied to keep it from floating out of reach. I laughed; the mouse was Al’s joke, a reference to one of comedian Bill Dana’s characters, who always felt sorry for the experimental mice that had gone into space in rocket nose cones. In the early days, especially, the astronauts talked of this feeling among themselves, of being test subjects in a can and, by extension, like mice, expendable.

A monumental relief on the facade of Kennedy Space Center “Heroes and Legends” is from an iconic Project Mercury 7 photograph. Glenn is third from left, front row.

Click Any Image for a larger view
Mural on the outside wall of the “Heroes and Legends” immersive experience, Kennedy Space Center near the Rocket Garden.

Gus Grissom, center top in the relief, was the veteran astronaut on the Apollo 1 crew, with Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee. White was the first American to walk in space during Program Gemini . Chaffee entered the space program with Program Apollo. These are images from the “Heroes and Legends” memorial to Apollo 1: the mission patch created by the crew, the three on-site in front of the launch pad. The patch is reproduced on the space capsule.

For this and the other slide shows, click on image for a larger view, use navigation arrows. Click elsewhere on larger view to exit.

Gus Grissom, who almost drown when his Liberty Bell 7 capsule hatch opened prematurely after an Atlantic Ocean splashdown, was a vocal critic of the problem plagued Apollo 1 capsule. The crew sent the following photograph to the project manager, Joseph Shea, with the message, “It isn’t that we don’t trust you, Joe, but this time we’ve decided to go over your head.” On issue was the quantity of flammables in the capsule. The use of velcro fasteners increased since the Glenn’s first orbital flight. There was 34 square feet of velcro throughout the capsule, almost like a carpet. Shea ordered it removed August 1966 and sometime before January 26 it was reinstalled. There were other flammable materials as well and a pressurized 100% oxygen. atmosphere.

The following photograph is low resolution, clicking on it will not yield a larger image.

The Apollo 1 crew expressed their concerns about the capsule in this parody of their crew portrait sent to ASPO manager Joseph Shea on August 19, 1966. From left to right: Ed White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee. April 1, 1966. NASA photograph

On January 27, 1967 the crew was suited up, in the capsule, for a “plugs out” test on Launch Complex 34.

A spark started the fire, it quickly spread and the inward opening hatch cover could not be opened under cabin pressure. It took five minutes to open the hatch, Grissom, White and Chaffee were lost: asphyxiated and burned.

My photographs are from the “Heroes and Legends” exhibits of Apollo 1 and later missions. Above, next to the burned capsule hatch is the seared capsule mission patch. Below, a moving display is the personal effects of the lost astronauts.

Launch Complex 34 Today

By chance our Lighthouse tour was January 27th, the 51st anniversary of the loss of Grissom, White and Chaffee. As we approached the complex parked buses and a gathering of people came into view. All that is left is the massive poured concrete base of the launch tower, topped with rusting pipes.

LC-34, site of the Apollo 1 disaster

The following two images are taken from the above photograph. On the left is the LC-34 information kiosk. The other is people gathered around a display of photographs and a person walking toward our approaching bus.

This turned out to be Dr. Sonny Witt, Director of Operations for the 45th Mission Support Group , Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Dr Witt came onto our bus and explained it was not possible to visit LC-34 today, with no further details, then went on to provide interesting background to Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. We were so lucky, instead of experiencing the abandoned structures, we had the attention of an expert who had published books on the subject.

Here is a UTube video featuring Dr. Witt on a tour of the lighthouse.

Sources of information for this post: I used information from the Wikipedia site for the key words Apollo 1. Memoir excerpt is from “John Glenn: A Memoir”, (pp. 341, 343). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Click for the first post of this series, “Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.”

Copyright 2019 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved.