Globe Post; LeMars, Plymouth, Iowa; April 22, 1954
Joynts Found One Glaring Innovation in Old County Galway Home -
Someone Put New Gunnysack in Old Broken Window.
Dr. R.J. Joynt of Le Mars and Dr. M.F.
Joynt of Marcus returned to Le Mars last night, having completed their trip
through England and Ireland, with a side trip to Paris.
They returned on the S.S. American and were just about in the
middle of the Atlantic on Easter morning when a sunrise service was held on
The Joynt brothers had long wanted to visit their old Joynt
home in County Galway, Ireland, and on this trip took along Dr. and Mrs. R.J.
Joynt Jr. The young Dr. Joynt is doing post-graduate work in England and with
his wife, accompanied the tourists, driving the car.
The car, by the way, was of English make, a Vanguard, which
resembles a station wagon, and it proved ideal for the purposes. The car was
rented in Dublin from Cyril McCormick, son of the famous Tenor, John McCormick,
now deceased. But that wasn't until they had visited Paris.
After visiting London and environs, the tourists took a plane
to Paris and from Paris they flew to Dublin. They toured all of Ireland which is
about the same area as Iowa, but which is far more thickly encrusted with
traditions and history.
The cars in Europe have the steering wheels on the
right side, which is on the wrong side; and the cars are driven on the left
side, which seems even wronger to Americans.
Focus of the entire trip was the old Joynt cottage in
County Galway, in a village called Shannaglish. The word Shannaglish means Old
Church, and it seems there was an old church there as long as the earliest
history shows. The Old Church is still there, and masses are read there
The nearest "Big Town" is Gort, population about
1500. Resisting the hospitable urging of the people of Shannaglish, the tourists
spent the night in an inn at Gort and early everybody in County Galway made it a
point to try to meet the distinguished visitors and bid them the top o' the
mornin' or evenin', as the case may be.
The Irish are very friendly people, Dr. R.J. Joynt
said, and every mither's son of them felt he had something important to tell the
guests. "They thought we were big shots." Dr. Joynt explained,
"and we felt that it would be unkind of us to disillusion them. So we let
it go at that."
Living in the old Joynt home is the family of Christie Nally,
grandson of the oldest sister of the Doctor Joynt's father. The rest of the
family migrated to the United States in 1869, but the oldest daughter married a
local boy friend and stayed.
The Joynt farm consists of 22 Irish acres. It still has
a pasture on a high hill, and a peat bog from which they still get their sod for
Dr. R.J. Joynt said that his father had often spoken
nostalgically of a certain low window in the old stone house which was easily
broken and which therefore was always stuffed with a gunny sack. The tourists
investigated and found the window, sure enough, and there was the pane missing,
just as in 1869, and there was the gunnysack.
"But it was a new gunnysack," Dr Joynt
reported with a touch of sadness.
The old cottage is built of stone, with a straw thatched
roof. Not a stone has been changed in 85 years and the thatch looked that way.
"How often do you have to rethatch the roof?"
Christie Nally was asked.
"About once every 14 years," Christie replied.
"How long has it been since you last thatched it?"
Well, its been just about 14 years."
This doesn't mean that Shannaglish was careless about
honoring its visitors, however. In honor of the expected visit, Christie Nally
whitewashed the walls all nice and clean.
And Mrs. Nally baked a cake.
Christie Nally made the succinct observation: "Yer
father did well when he went to America!"
In addition to being the seat of the old Joynt homestead,
County Galway has considerable glamor of its own, and the tourists made a point
of going to Claddagh on Galway bay. They wanted to - as in the song - "see
the moonlight over Claddagh; and the sun go down on Galway bay." They did
Armed with letters of introduction, the tourists called on
Ambassador Taft at Dublin, and talked with President Sean O'Kelly of Ireland.
Sean is pronounced "Shane."
They also visited famous Blarney castle. The above
picture is from a postcard view of Blarney Castle. Arrow points to a spot where
the famous Blarney stone is located.
"We kissed the Blarney Stone," Dr. R.J. Joynt
admitted. You had to crawl out of a window in the tower to reach it, but there
are some iron bars, you can hold to, so there isn't much danger of
The Blarney Stone actually has a hollow worn in it by
the lips of countless thousands who have kissed it - or perhaps scratched in by
an unknown number of bristly mustaches.
The reason for kissing the Blarney Stone, as set forth
in an old Irish legend, is that anyone who takes a chance on breaking his neck
in order to kiss the stone, will thenceforth be gifted with a smooth, pleasing,
and mellifluous manner of speech, both polished and flattering.
When an Irishman so gifted sounds off, it was customary
for the flustered lady (Blarney is especially efficacious with the ladies) to
say: "O go away wid yer Blarney!"
Anyway, they all kissed the Blarney stone, including
young Mrs. Bob Joynt, and the young Dr. Joynt appended this dry comment on a
card he sent to the Globe Post:
"Dad did it too, but I felt that it was hardly necessary
LeMars Globe Post
LeMars, Plymouth, Iowa
April 29, 1954
HERE'S HOW IT IS
A reader, who evidently looks at headlines and pictures but
not at the fine print, chewed us out a bit for that story about the Joynt Bros.
travels in Ireland. As he got it, the picture of the castle represented the
"Joynts humble ancestorial home", and the arrow pointed to a window
where a brand new gunnysack offended the pilgrims sense of the fitness of
things. He figured to say the place was "humble" was a left-handed way
of putting on the dog.
For those who came in late: The picture was a picture of Blarney castle, and the
arrow pointed to the place where you had to lean out, saved from a fall out of
the tower only by your hold on two iron bars, to kiss the Blarney stone. The
Joynts never did hang out at the Blarney castle much. (Not until they hung out
of the embrasure on this trip.) (It gets worse and worse!)