methow grist 2011-2014 archive


Spiwak's Fridge

I have long been a reviewer of golf books for, among other publications, some of which are on real paper. Having attended a book festival in Mazama this summer, I felt compelled to read a book about Ireland. Not that that has anything to do with the festival, actually it has to do with the recent Professional Golf Association championship, won by a young Irish lad named Rory McIlroy and my love of the Irish. In the best of times I can understand what a real child of the auld sod is saying in its own lyrical accent.

The book I chose was suggested to me by Mr. Kelly, proprietor of Kelly’s Restaurant on Highway 20. Kelly is an Irishman who was the head waiter at Wesola Polana, a Polish-owned place that was a Spanish eatery for its first few years of existence, managed by Pablo in the building that once housed the owners and sometimes the horses of the Rocking Horse Ranch before that name moved to town, got gentrified and became a bakery and art gallery.

The book is called “Round Ireland With A Fridge” a tale of an Englishman accepting a wager during a soused evening in which he was bet he could not go around the perimeter of the Emerald Isle hitch hiking with a refrigerator in a month. It is probably the funniest book I have read in many years and makes even my hero, Dave Barry, come across like Sarah Palin reading the lighter excerpts from Revelations.

(While on the topic, if you go to ‘Reading Glasses” on Ebay you can see Sarah’s own line of eyewear. I suspect they narrow your vision.)

I guess I became enamored of the Irish people when we moved from Maryland to New Jersey and Larry Harrington beat the crap out of my brother in a fist fight that began at a basketball game when my brother Ralph, who thought he was a tough guy, argued with Larry about a seat in the bleachers. I never really got on well with my brother. He was four years older and was ‘me Dah’s fave’. My father’s favorite. I did not get on well with pater either. Besides blatantly favoring the eldest of all two of his offspring in all matters of dispute, he regarded the Irish as anti-semitic bastards. This encompassed the entire country over there, and included Larry Harrington as well. My Dah didn’t like the Irish: another vote for them in my head.

Me Dah did not like the Russians either, and he was born there so I have been told. But at age one he was moved to Argentina and by age two must have considered himself The Wild Bull of the Pampas. He brought his machismo to the US at age twenty something. Come to think about it, I don’t think he liked anybody, although I suspect he had hot pants for Evita Peron.

My enchantment with the Irish was underscored when I went to see the production of Finian’s Rainbow. Funny, I can remember the lyrics to “How are Things in Glocamora,” can envision Ella Logan singing, but remember little else.

Anyhow, this book is written by Tony Hawks and is true he says, using - except in certain instances - the real names of the people with whom he was involved. It’s a wonderful read, good geography lesson and uncharacteristically for me, full of LOL’s.

(And I hate myself for that last.)


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