Well it’s the end of an era. Friday November 2nd was my last day working in The Quiet Man Museum. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I’ve finished up and launched my own business conducting walking tours. I don’t know where the last five summers went to; time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve certainly had a blast tour guiding.
For those of you who don’t know the film, The Quiet Man was made in 1951, directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara. The film tells the story of John Wayne’s character coming home to buy his ancestral home and falling in love with Maureen O’ Hara’s character in the process.
This quaint, romantic film was shot around the small village of Cong in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Little did the cast and crew know that they would be making one of the best all time films and that over sixty years later it would have a cult following. It’s a film I’ve fallen in love with.
I’ve met some wonderful people and made some good friends along the way. Mateli Lopez (who has the biggest crush on John Wayne; she actually sends her husband out of the room if John Wayne is on TV so she can be on her own 😲) and Toss from Co. Cork (who threatened to send his wife to some slimming classes!) spring to mind. Mateli and I are Facebook friends now. All are Quiet Man Crazies in my eyes! But one very special person I met this summer was Danny, an Olympic gold medallist in volleyball. All he ever wanted to do was visit Cong and see the locations where The Quiet Man was filmed. He finally fulfilled that dream this summer.
My most memorable moment was a proposal the summer of 2015. And no it wasn’t me who was proposed to. I gave a tour to two lovely couples. We arrived at the last stop of the tour where I like to re-enact one of the scenes from the film. I picked the younger couple to kiss and Steve from the other couple to be the matchmaker.
I explained to them what was happening in the scene, made Steve say his lines and told the young couple that I wanted to see the biggest kiss in cinema history. Next thing I know the young gentleman is down on one knee asking his girlfriend to marry him, she’s in hysterics and Steve, Kathy and I are looking on in excitement and anticipation for her answer.
Thankfully she said yes. I had no idea that he had planned to propose to his girlfriend. He told me afterwards that he was going to pop the question inside the museum. In my opinion the way it turned out was much better. It couldn’t have been more perfect and I was so glad to have been apart of that special moment in their lives.
Funnily enough Steve and Kathy returned this summer with their children and their children’s family to take the tour. Steve wasn’t sure if I’d remember him and Kathy or not. But of course I remembered them. It was such a surreal experience we shared. It was amazing to see them again and to meet their family. Of course they weren’t the only people who returned to Cong to take the walking tour. I took Ron from Australia on the walking tour last summer but he returned this summer to take the tour again. He too thought I wouldn’t remember him. When I saw him I said to him that I thought he looked familiar and when he told me he was on my tour last year, I remembered instantly who he was. I was almost expecting Mateli to pop up at some stage!
I’m going to miss Gerry and Margaret, two of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for; their daughter Lisa; Mary who worked in the gift shop with me, we had some laughs; all the CIE tour directors; the view from the museum entrance and of course Aisling, Jon, Ashley and Sean. I will take so many wonderful memories from The Quiet Man Museum with me as I start my new venture.