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Jan 23 14 7:05 PM

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"There is a season for everything...a time to be born and a time to die...," we are told.  But there's been too many passings lately.  We have recently said goodbye to several old Germantown friends: Larry Rinaldi and Joseph Garvey.  I must add to this list the sister of my good friend, David Stoner of East Rittenhouse St--Elaine Stoner-- who recently passed a year-to-the-day of her husband.  Sometimes the coincidence of dates can take your breath away, like my own Mother's passing on my Dad's birthday.  They were deeply connected--in life and death.  Too many deaths.   Let us move to another season: a time for love.  Did it ever occur to you how you ended up with your mate? 

There was a time in old Ireland, a time when storytellers and matchmakers understood all this.  They didn't accept coincidence; they believed in legends, stories and faith.  One beautiful matchmaker I read about from the archives of the Irish Folklore Commission explained it this way: "Even before we're born, the Gods place an invisible silver cord around each little boy and girl's ankle , loose at first, but as they mature this silver cord draws them closer together until they meet and know, 'this is the one that was made for me.'"  I guess it's what we have come to know as "Love at first sight." Now it came to pass that this same matchmaker made a match between a farmer who had no teeth and a woman that worked in a bakery who had no breasts.  Teeth were no problem in old Ireland.  There were merchants that would rent them like we rent tuxedos today.  Our farmer in question preferred a set of teeth which had six wolf teeth embedded in the dentures he rented.  Besides given him a canine appearance, he also had a sense of humor and thought that he would rent a talking parrot to impress the wedding guests.  Problem!!!  This parrot was taught to only say:  "Shut up...you hoor."  The bride's father killed it!  But oddly enough, the match survived and produced a lot of needed little farm hands... according to our matchmaker.