Strange how life works. I’ve said it before… I don’t believe in fate… serendipity, however, that’s a totally different matter! I was not going to be on a train into work on Saturday until I found out just before home time on Friday evening that there was need to have someone in on the day… even just for a few hours.
OK… I’d come in but only in the afternoon… I first needed to do something of an errand in the morning. I completed the task on route to the Enfield Station. As the Saturday 11h20 usually arrives at a different platform at Connolly I often choose a seat in one of the middle carriages.
There I was… minding my own business when we stopped at Maynooth to take on passengers. The excited chatter of children first alerted me to the presence of the family. Maynooth is rather close to a few of the large microprocessor building sites… so, when I heard the unmistakable twang I immediately surmised that the father was an employee of one said giant. I muttered something along these lines… NO, categorically NO.
They were here for the game… only staying with friends while they’re over in Ireland as all the hotels are fully booked… America has descended on Ireland… invaded… even brought they own navy ship. Why not? One of the teams playing in the game just so happens to be the Navy Team! The Game? The Emerald Isle Classic, an American Football Game at The Aviva… a sell out crowd of 50 000 folks to go see the spectacle.
We chatted about quite a few other things as well… military flying and charities for the wounded soldiers and their families being just a few of the topics. You see… I was privileged to be sharing my trip with a Marine Flier!! A fellow chopper boy! There we sat… an American and a Saffer talking choppers on an Irish train!
I asked if I may take a photo or two… how could I let this train tale go amiss? They were only too obliging. One of the girls was wearing a bright red t-shirt emblazoned with the Semper Fi Fund logo and lettering. Thanks to the joys of internet on the trains I’d already opened a page so I was aware that it was a charity organisation. The good lady flier’s wife is a volunteer with the organisation. She filled me in with a few brief details. Please click here to visit their official webpage… there is a lot to learn and also much to be thankful for! We spoke briefly about my bit of walking for Midlands SIMON… how could I resist passing on one of my fliers?
We said our good-bye’s at Connolly Station… me muttering something about visiting them in Naples where they’re now based! Dream… nothing wrong with the odd bit of dreaming! Imagine a quick flip in a chopper across the Bay of Naples along the Amafli coast… imagine! Or why not land on Capri? Dream on… I hear you mutter… dream on, indeed!
As for The Game… click here for a bit of information. Again I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time… I could watch the opening procession from afar. I could also see a full Aviva stadium for the first time… and even catch the glint of sunlight off the player’s helmets!
Now… as we’re talking of charities… we have great news! We have passed the € 1000 mark of our collection on the charity page… click here to have a look-see or make a donation! Today is another milestone day as well… I’ll be walking the last leg of the Grand Canal Challenge… if all goes well I’ll be out near the Shannon while one or two are reading about the All Americans…
PS – I would like to ask all my American friends to please have an extra look at what the folk at Semper Fi Fund do for the hero’s. Any of you who don’t know too much about my past history and military flying… I did a post a while ago about the topic… you see, it’s something very close to my heart… I speak as one that’s lived through his own bits of distress. Feel free to click here for a look at that post…