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Ramona's Ramblings

When Irish eyes aren’t smilin’

Ramona Jan
Posted 3/15/22

I’m at home ‘swiffering’ the kitchen (a Swiffer is a type of dusting device) when the phone rings. It’s Finn, an old friend from Ireland. One could say the ‘Donald …

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Ramona's Ramblings

When Irish eyes aren’t smilin’


I’m at home ‘swiffering’ the kitchen (a Swiffer is a type of dusting device) when the phone rings. It’s Finn, an old friend from Ireland. One could say the ‘Donald Trump’ of Dublin if only because he owns several hotels there. He wants me to help him “take down” a real live Mafioso Man, who happens to live in New York City.

Now I’m just a country girl, but there’s no explaining this to Finn because Finn and I go way back. We both lived in NYC during the seventies. And you know what they say about the seventies; makes the sixties look like the fifties.

Here’s a story: I was in a private room at one of the posh hotels that Finn managed and Mr. Mafioso owned. I was eating jumbo shrimp covered in peanut sauce. Suddenly the door was kicked in and three men pointed guns in my face.

“Can I help you gentlemen?” I asked calmly because Peanut shrimp always puts me in a cathartic state. Without a single apology, walkie-talkies flared and as fast as the men arrived they left. It was a drug bust and they had the wrong room. I finished my Peanut Shrimp in peace.

Finn could not possibly imagine my life now; peaceful and without much adventure. As we’re speaking, I get the keen sense that he may be drinking because I hear ice cubes tinkling against the side of his glass.

In the seventies, Finn worked for Mr. Mafioso, the very person he now wants to destroy. At the time, Mr. M owned more than one posh NYC hotel and a couple of very famous night clubs. Mr. M eventually went to jail for tax evasion when millions of dollars were found hidden in the walls of his apartment. You may be able to guess the name, but the name is not important. The point is I’m just a country girl living the quiet life, and I’m getting this call.

“I’m married to a school teacher now,” Finn tells me, “I go from my home to a restaurant by limousine, get out of the limo, walk into the restaurant, eat and then get back into the limo. I live the quiet life, too.”

I look at the clock and calculate that, in Ireland, it’s near midnight. If Quinn’s out drinking or just at home drinking, perhaps his soul is not that quiet. I know that many things had happened between Finn and Mr. Mafioso. I know that Mr. M once sent him a dead fish. I know that Finn’s very life was threatened, but there are also things I don’t know, and that Finn still won’t tell me.

“Back then, I didn’t need to know the details,” I say, “But if you expect me to write a book with you now,” (yes, that’s how we’re taking down Mr. Mafioso, with the almighty word) “then I’ll need to know the details.” That’s when Finn tells me that he doesn’t want his name on the book.

“Well, whose name is going on the book?” I ask.

“We’ll get to that,” he promises.

I look out my window. It’s dark. The moon is full and casting a bluish light over the snow covered ground. I see the silhouettes of several deer in the yard. They look like cardboard cutouts. I scan the hill above with its tall spindly trees containing branches mostly at the top. I say to myself, I know this man, Finn. He started as a bellhop and within ten years became the top hotel manager in the world. He’s amazing and he’s been through a lot. He probably misses his life in NYC. I also know that I may never hear from him again, and as much as I adore him, that is exactly what I’m counting on at least as it pertains to Mr. M.


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