Monday, April 4, 2016

Generations and Traditions

Generations and Traditions
There is only one Irish pub that the West Suburban Irish of the Chicago area will call home. That is Quigley's. I have been coming here for more years than I can remember. Today was the first day I took my son so he could experience craic. Craic is a Gaelic term that relates to atmosphere. Food, fun, gossip, entertainment and good conversation. The Quigley family hold good craic at the epicenter of all they do in the Irish pub experience. As the night gets later, good craic becomes mighty, then savage, then deadly and then it becomes ninety...which is as good as craic can get. 

Go to a chain pub and it will be so void of craic that you may as well be in a mausoleum. 

We had good craic, which is what you will get from a Sunday brunch. You can feel it in the teak wood and custom etched glass and ancient fireplaces that were shipped piece by piece from Dublin to the US in a building erected 3 years before the potato famine. In the very pores of the wood are the stories and laughter of generations drinking a pint, smoking cigars and telling stories. 

I told my child the stories of us and who we are. I told him the history of this space and why it is so special. I told him of Ireland and Lithuania and other places I have never been, but I know them through our customs and traditions and taste them in the food and the people we call family. We shared stories and fables told to me by my grandfather, my grandmother, my aunts and uncles. Stories of lives led and tears shed. The story of us.

My purpose was to bring my child there so we could embrace the passing of traditions from one generation to the next. What a joy it was to see a young Quigley staring out the window as the family opened up the pub. 

I wonder how many generations like her have stared out that same window on a Sunday morning as the family prepares the bar, the kitchen and all the elements of warmth and hospitality for the craic sure to come, without fail. 

Generations and traditions were brought to life this day, as it is every day. 

A new dawn began as I started a process I should have done long ago. Shared the experiences and the stories of our family in a space that understands stories and traditions and clans.

Pass some traditions on to the next generation. If you have no traditions to pass on, create them together. It'll be mighty craic.

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