Long ago, when my dad first emigrated to New York City, it was Mike Garry that made him welcome and made the landing less arduous than it would have been. Mike Garry is from the same area in Clare where my grandfather Patrick Keane is from. Our families were neighbors in Ballynacally (Baile na Caillí, "home of the wisened women") and were long connected in the way that makes Clare particularly special. Neighbors in that area of the world made music together. Mike had left this special kind of musical homeland to labor on the infrastructure of the greatest and noisiest city in the world years before my father did. Established in the Irish Bronx, Mike treated my dad very well when he landed. My dad stepped off the plane in JFK to a world that appreciated his music, because people like Mike Garry supported the music that conjures Ireland like no other music does. There are pictures below of three generations of Garrys thriving in the world, including step-dancers and flute players among them. Sheila Garry flew over from Clare to play fiddle for Mike, with Jimmy Garry on accordion, his daughter Ursula on flute, and granddaughter Róisín, step-dancing. There are pictures of just a few of the musicians who were on hand over a long night of fun: Joannie Madden, Mirella Murray, Dessie Groark, Tom Dunne, Deirdre Connolly, Jimmy Coen, Keith O'Neill, James Keane and many others. They came to give Mike an unforgettable night of music. He was delighted and full of love--as he is known for.
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