The Shooting of Dan McGrew

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a rag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger’s face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

There’s men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he’d do,
And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that’s known as Lou.

His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway,
Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands — my God! but that man could play.

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A helf-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow, and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you’ve a hunch what the music meant . . . hunger and might and the stars.

And hunger not of the belly kind, that’s banished with bacon and beans,
But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowded with a woman’s love —
A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true —
(God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, — the lady that’s known as Lou.)

Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil’s lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
‘Twas the crowning cry of a heart’s despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
“I guess I’ll make it a spread misere,” said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

The music almost dies away . . . then it burst like a pent-up flood;
And it seemed to say, “Repay, repay,” and my eyes were blind with blood.
The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
And the lust awoke to kill, to kill . . . then the music stopped with a crash,
And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;

In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
And “Boys,” says he, “you don’t know me, and none of you care a damn;
But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I’ll bet my poke they’re true,
That one of you is a hound of hell . . . and that one is Dan McGrew.”

Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that’s known as Lou.

These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
They say that the stranger was crazed with “hooch,” and I’m not denying it’s so.
I’m not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
The woman that kissed him — and pinched his poke — was the lady known as Lou.

Weekend round-up

(No weeds were harmed in the making of this weekend.)

The following is posted not so much because I suspect anyone would find it to be of interest. No. Rather, it’s because making record of it helps me in my inevitable nostalgia phase several years hence.

 

Saturday started late morning with taking Catherine’s dogs for a walk. There are three dogs, too many to manage all at once, so I took the girls out first, then Jackson afterwards. Each round went around 20 minutes and I walked a total of about 2 miles. Afterwards, Catherine, Brenda, and I went to Lowe’s to pick up some touch-up paint for their interior walls. There’s something about being in big hardware stores that is just satisfying. I should explore this further. Then it was time for lunch. Annette’s was the destination of choice and holy moly! the portions were quite ample! Catherine got her usual favorite, the Scooby Doo. Biscuits & gravy over a Denver omelet with potatoes on the side. Brenda got the chicken fried steak with scrambled eggs, and I took the waitress’ recommendation and ordered the chicken club sandwich with tots and onion rings. Everything was good, but I couldn’t finish, at least not without doing harm to my stomach. Of the three entrées, Brenda’s tasted the best. Lordy, I was so full afterwards!

I went home, marshaled my strength for a bit, then met Deanna for coffee. Then it was off to Portland to meet Tiffany, Sianna, and Shaine for Geeks Who Drink Trivia at Portland Brewery.
Team Family Ties
Our team (Family Ties) was the big winner that night!

 

On to Sunday morning.

Went to Mass then to Keizer Sub Shop for lunch. Always delicious. After eating, I dropped off three boxes of old clothes at Goodwill. Lenten purge is on track!
Met up with Catherine and Brenda and we all went to Walmart to shop for Easter ‘basket’ contents for her family. Add in a short trip to Dollar Tree for the same purpose and we called it good.
(I did buy another solar toy for my window.)
Solar duck

Finally, I finished out the weekend with a load of laundry.

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Cherry trees in bloom

At the recommendation of my supervisor, I took a short walk over to the Capitol Mall to snap a few photos of the blooming trees.

Capitol Mall (1703.23) - 15

Capitol Mall (1703.23) - 2

Capitol Mall (1703.23) - 1

Shamrock Run

Back in December, my coworker, Kathryn, and I signed up for this year’s 15k Shamrock Run. We both wanted the motivation to start training/running again.

For the first several weeks of training, I did well. I was getting to the gym a few nights per week and getting time in on the treadmill. But over the past month or so, things changed and my training went rather poorly, and I seriously considered bailing on the day, but my friend, Tyson convinced me to follow through with my plan, and I’m glad I did. To be honest though, if the forecast had indicated that it would be raining, I would have stayed home in bed for sure! As it was, the day was a mix of clouds and sun. The morning started off cold, but as usual, I warmed up pretty quickly once I started moving. By mile 2, I surely wished I had not worn a long sleeved shirt.

The map to the right shows my gps tracking for the course. Everything up through about mile 4 was mostly a gradual uphill run. The downhill portion was all in the latter half, for which I suppose I am grateful.

My official time was 2:01:25, which works out to be 13:01/mile. That’s not great, but I’m pretty much just glad I finished. At the end of the run, my knees were sore, as were my hips and back. Today, those parts feel ok, but my quadriceps are feeling it. I’m sure that tomorrow, my whole body will once again be aching.

Kathryn is already talking about the ‘next’ race. We’re looking at half marathons in the fall, as well as some triathlons that we would enter as a team (along with Alexis, our boss). It’s strange. As much as I sort of dreaded this run as the date approached, now that it’s completed, it’s frightfully easy to contemplate doing something similar in the future. What is wrong with me?!?!

Driving home after the race took about an hour. When I exited my car at my apartment, walking was a challenge as my legs had stiffened up. I thought about going to the gym to sit and soak in the hot tub, but I wanted to watch some Iron Fist, so I parked myself on the couch, put my feet up, and watched 3 episodes. Then I went to Geoff and Jackie’s for family dinner of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and corn bread. Jackie sent some extra corned beef home with me, so that’s lunch today. I should probably go to Safeway and get some bananas to assist with my recovery.

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Sinéad O’Connor – Paddy’s Lament

The Wayfarer

The beauty of the world has made me sad.
This beauty that will pass.

Sometimes my heart has shaken with great joy
To see a leaping squirrel on a tree
Or a red ladybird upon a stalk.

Or little rabbits, in a field at evening,
Lit by a slanty sun.

Or some green hill, where shadows drifted by,
Some quiet hill,
Where mountainy man has sown, and soon will reap,
Near to the gate of heaven.

Or little children with bare feet
Upon the sands of some ebbed sea,
Or playing in the streets
Of little towns in Connacht.

Things young and happy.

And then my heart has told me –
These will pass,
Will pass and change,
Will die and be no more.

Things bright, and green.
Things young, and happy.

And I have gone upon my way, sorrowful.

 

-Padraic Pearse

Blarney Folk – Goodbye Mick

An Old Woman of the Roads

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house – a house of my own
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

 

-Padraic Colum

John Sheahan & Eamonn Campbell – Irish Washerwoman

I love this jig, but it seems not so popular among my seisiún friends. Oh well.

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Raglan Road

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way,
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge,
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay
O I loved too much and by such by such is happiness thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign that’s known
To the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say,
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May.

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay –
When the angel woos the clay he’d lose his wings at the dawn of day.

 

-Patrick Kavanagh

 

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