“Boomtown Lee” | formercactus | 30 September 2018

I’m very, very happy to be one of many friends (and fans of friends) in this issue’s table of contents. Thanks so much to the editors of formercactus for including “Boomtown Lee” in issue 12.

The issue is subtitled: Where Have All the Rebels Gone. 


“Boomtown Lee” is a story had been snowballing for a long time. It comes from a long line. I had an idea about the sound of rain in dry gutters; I had an idea about thunderstorms; I had an idea about experiencing gale-force winds; I lay around whenever there was a thunderstorm, asking my husband “what’s that sound? how do I say that sound? why are storms so sexy?” and then the real deal wheeled into the picture.

I met a guy in a bar called The Oslo in Salt Hill, Galway City, Ireland.  Jimmy said I was okay. I didn’t mind him swearing and joking. I guess some Americans are snitty or sour about colorful language? Not me. I come from a long line. He talked a lot, but he was nice and made sure to ask my husband for permission to joke around. Jimmy’s teenage car was a Cortina, he did drive it off a cliff, and he did have an aversion to Boomtown Rats, and he was just a perfect, lively, excellent bar mate. I came to think of him later, and he became the hinge, the persona who could thread together all these other ideas, the needle of compression.

I enjoy meeting people and just chatting for the heck of it. Maybe it’s my journalist training, but I like hearing people talk. I enjoy when I’m let in on a lie or a secret or a good joke. So, thanks to an old hometown friend, Deb, for introducing me to the Oslo and some of her Irish pals. What a great night. The Wild West of Ireland, god almighty, my heart felt at home.

Here’s me at Queen Madb’s Tomb. If I could, I’d blink and be back there. Some of my people came from a little town in lovely County Leitrim, Kinlough.


I hope you don’t mind a little language, and enjoy “Boomtown Lee.” 

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