Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bruins, Brogues, and Bread

Main Street, Melrose, MA
March 19, 2011

Barry’s Tea, an Irish favorite, is what Tim Moynihan, wearing a Bruins cap, serves me from the counter of Breads ‘N’ Bits of Ireland. The gray-haired gentleman has already prepared two egg sandwiches, one for me and the other for the AMHL Photographer, who’s still seated at the back of this family-owned and -operated shop.

Mr. Moynihan places the teapot and then two thick slices of toasted Irish bread on my tray as we conclude our conversation—his brogue as strong as a salmon’s heart—about Irish jaunting cars, ponyback rides, and storytellers in Ireland. I thank the Killarney native and then join my wife.

I’ve already read the Boston Globe sports section (the Bruins’ power play has been unplugged, good hockey game between BC and Northeastern), and now focus on my food and surroundings: My green-eyed lass across the table; behind her, the framed poster of a traditional Irish dresser; and to the left, the real version whose shelves hold family pictures and a poem about friendship.

The couple to my left is readingb the newspaper when a contemporary joins them to discuss last night’s Hockey East action. The BC Eagles beat the NU Huskies, 5–4. “Northeastern is good,” the upright friend says. They wonder how Merrimack will fair against favored BC tonight. His seated pal predicts an upset.

My best friend and I finish brekkie and then drive home, where tonight we’ll watch Recchi and Kelly and the lads from Boston against the Leafs in Toronto. Win or lose, I reckon I’ll enjoy a slice of soda bread Mr. Moynihan sold us, sip tea, and wonder if Barry Melrose is watching the game, too.
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