Relapsing August

Bob Rosenberg
Educator (Associate Professor) / Entrepreneur / Leader of angel communities / 
Entrepreneur in residence at PorterShed and BioExcel

I have the luxury (sic) of remembering another August as disquieting as this month.

It was 1968 and I was 16.  Vietnam was aflame, the US inner cities were aflame, Chicago’s mayor was claiming that the police were ‘preserving chaos, not preventing it’ (Richard J. Daley’s memorable malaprop) during the Democratic National Convention.  King and Kennedy Jr. had been assassinated, four lay dead at an Ohio college, and astronauts sped moonward as if excaping the chaos.

There were violent demonstrations in Red Square, riots in Miami, Chicago, and Little Rock.  Russia invaded Czechoslovakia and tested two thermonuclear weapons in the atmosphere.  Northern Ireland witnessed its first civil rights march.

The current atmosphere is so similar — a sense that things have tilted at a precipitous angle and that events might outrun our ability to control them.  And the signs are not promising:  Covid simmering, Brexit looming, electoral hijinx in the USA, a new economic reality with ongoing dislocation and pain.

What to do?  How to prepare?

We all know the answer and are busy employing it:  sit back, enjoy August, a blessed moment between midsummer and the reality of September.  A breath, a pause, even if it can’t be spent in a pub, or in another country, or at a the races, or even watching all but a handful of sports on the telly.

I’ve been keeping a list of things that have given me pleasure this August, with emphasis on being in Galway.  As an outsider (insert voice of Richard Harris as Bull McCabe saying ‘OUTsithers’).  Here are a fistful in no particular order:

The distinctive smells of the Corrib and the Bay at any time or tide.

Anne Enright’s latest book, Actress.

Silver Darlings in a salad at Kai.  Didn’t realize that there was only one maker of pickled herring in Ireland.  And she (Kirsti O’Kelly) does a fantastic job.

David Cunningham posting an admiring video of his father swinging a golf club better than I ever did.

Sardonic humor as a survival tactic.

Temple Café.

Doggos on the prom.  Lockdown would have been better with a doggo,

Caitriona Perry interviewing just about anyone.

Local photography on twitter courtesy of @mauramullarkey, @zhangchaosheng, and @superfly_ie.

The Irish ability to adjust, appreciate, laugh, be kind to one another.  Whatever the circumstance.

The recognition that driving is a contact sport in Ireland.  And the courtesy and forbearance required.

Back to startups and business come September.  Until then, enjoy.

Saturday market.  And Sheridan’s cheese (try Shepherd’s Store if they have some in stock)


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