Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ag siúl timpeall an sú fágtha

Chuaigh mé amuigh ag siúl aréir. Cheiliúradh muid de muintir na bpáistí de naíolann áitiúil. Mhúin Lamont ár bheirt mhac nuair bhí muid uile níos óg!

Ní maith liom dream go hiondúil. Bhí níos mó ná chéad duine i bPairc Ua Ghríobhtha a cheiliúradh Lamont ann. B'fhéidir, aithain mé dosaen ansin.

Mar sin, shuigh mé leis mo teaglach i dtosach. Thug achan duine bia againnsa féin chuig cóisir faoin aer. D'ith muid pizza. D'ól Léna agus mé "Babycham"-- "an ól is sona ar domhain"-- leis a mála ban páipéir ag timpeall an buidéal. Thaispeáin an lipéad logo beag leis síogaí buíbhán. Leath an gáire ar a aghaidh, ag marcaíocht aonadharcach.

Go luath, rug gardaí ag stad chucu duine eile leis fionn ag imeall muidsa! Ar scor ar bith, d'imigh cheana féin. Chonaic mé an sean-ghairdin ainmhithe os cionn an láthair campála.

Ní fhaca mé an áit seo go dtí sin. Chuir cuairt mé i bpairc ar feadh mo saol, ar ndóigh. Ach, ní bhfuair mé an radharc ar gach taobh orm, in aice leis an ceile suas.

Thóg cáisannaí ar feadh An Lagar Tráchta Mór. Bhí tionscadal obaireachta poiblí leis an "WPA" ann. Bhí sú idir 1912 agus 1965 ann.

Mheas faoi an obair láimhe na lucht dífhostalíochtaí agus seanábhar mhiotal storrúil acu. Rinne na duine gan obair go rialta cás láidir, ar bheágan ar beágan anseo. D'éirigh siad inniu i measc léirscrios.

Faoi scannan, chuala béir ag tógtha an bóthar mór. Faoi deannach, ghlaoim amach meacaicaigh ar aghaidh ag breathnaigh buachaillí chomh mise féin fadó. Bhí an lá ag diúltiú da sholas, eist tíogair ag duine ag imeacht ar bhaile eile.

Fhill mé ar ais go dtí an ceile ag imeall an sean-sú. D'imir loráin ar an bhféar. Stád dhá mac agam ag rá leis cairde is faide níos ciúin i bhfad an bhrutainn agus an muintir Lamont acu.

Walking about the abandoned zoo.

I went out walking about last evening. We were celebrating [~bidding farewell to] the teacher of the local kindergarten [~creche]. Lamont taught our pair of sons when we all were younger!

I don't like a crowd customarily. Over a hundred people were there in Griffith Park to celebrate Lamont. Perhaps, I recognized a dozen there.

Therefore, I sat with my family in the beginning. Everyone brought a meal for themselves to the picnic [~open-air feast]. We ate pizza. Layne and I drank "Babycham"-- "the happiest drink in the world"-- from a white paper bag around the bottle. The label showed a small logo with a blonde pixie. She grinned broadly, riding a unicorn.

Soon, the police came to stop every one with wine around us. However, I had already gone off. I had seen the old zoo [~garden of animals] above the camping ground.

I never had seen this place until then. I had paid a visit to the park during my life often, of course. But, I had never found the sight all around me, near the party below.

Cages were constructed during the Great Depression. It was a public-works project there with the "WPA." There was a zoo between 1912 and 1965.

I thought about the handiwork from a group of unemployed [~uncared for, unlooked after] and their old materials of sturdy metal. People out of regular work made strong cages there, little by little. They stand today amidst total desolation.

Under shade, bears heard the freeway built. Under dust, macaws cried out before watching boys like myself long ago. In the growing dusk, tigers listened to people going away to other homes.

I returned back to the party on the edge of the old zoo. Urchins played on the grass. My two sons stood talking with their oldest friends more quietly beyond the toddlers and their teacher, Lamont.

Ghriangraf/ Photo: "Cás". Sean Sú na gCathair na Áingeal/ "Cage," Old LA Zoo. Flickr, le/by Matt Logelin.

4 comments:

Bo said...

Babycham?!

Fionnchú said...

I know. Let me explain. My wife likes cider. There's about five different varieties at the BevMo superstore. I imagine twenty types would be at your off-licence, but then, sadly, trips to markets in Ulster and the rest of Ireland have revealed far less variety when it came to beer on sale vs. what my hopes had been raised for.

Magners from Ireland, Wyler's from Canada, lethal Strongbow, Woodpecker, Theakston's, Babycham, and a couple California ones: that's it. I got her a bottle of any she had not yet tried to sample to find her favorites. So, we are drinking up this small stash, and it was the turn for the one I recalled mentioned from a song by the Jam way back in college. Pear cider, I find from the one called Ace in California, has a pleasant tang that balances the sometimes too-tinny taste of apple varieties. Obviously Babycham's kind of a wussy choice, but the cheery slogan and anthropomorhic-mythic logo (I have an affection for such advertising) convinced me to quaff it; it's the same as the others sampled, so far, in quality. Cheers!

vilges suola said...

I haven't had a Babycham since I was about ten. It comes in tiny bottles here. The bit about the police - is it illegal to drink in public? Is there an LA Anti-Babycham Squad?

Fionnchú said...

"Drinking on the sidewalk, the beach, in a park, or any other public space is prohibited by law, and you will be fined if caught." So DKTravel.com puts it succinctly--probably with an eye to you Brits-- re: L.A. Our bottle was 500 ml, and it did label English origin. Lucky I cleared out before the Prohibition coppers' latest raid.