Irish Billy & his banjo


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    This guy is the reason my wife and I moved to Trenton. His bar had a sign out front "Cigar Friendly" that was more prominent than the name of the bar. His records were even on the jukebox.... and I'd always put on "Down by the Old Glenside" since I came from a town called Glenside...a town in Pennsylvania not Ireland. The only important hero of mine from Glenside, other than a hardware store owner named Sparky and an auto supply store owner named Sparky and a grocer named Sparky was Ezra Pound, who left Glenside long before I ever arrived, or any of those other Sparkys for that matter.

    The Guinness glass isn't part of the deal, by the way. And also by the way, Billy is the one who introduced Guinness Smithwicks to this country....which is when I probably got the glass.

    I wrote a film script about Billy's place, but set it in Philadelphia, on Two Street where the mummers come from. My next banjo sculpture, after Pete Seeger perhaps, will be a mummer in full sequins. I did this figurine of him as a testimony after he died. We all miss him.