Wednesday 29 January 2020

Great memories

• I was a little grim on Saturday morning, December 3, because for the previous 10 weeks I used to say, "yippee it's Saturday", but that day, there was no 'Rolling Back the Years' supplement in the Irish Independent.

Now it is sadly finished and, as they say, all good things must come to an end. I enjoyed 50 wonderful years of history from home and abroad. These wonderful supplements stirred my own memories of the time.

There was a photo of Rosa Parks, the very courageous black woman who refused to give up her seat for a white male passenger on a bus in December 1955 while she was returning from a day at work in Montgomery, Alabama. It was such an iconic moment and changed the course of American history.

Mary Kenny's article on dances, dates and Irish women gave me a great laugh; indeed the ritual of the dance hall prompted Mary in one of her urges towards feminism. There was a great photo, too, of some women drinking a glass of stout in a pub in the 1950s -- it was unheard of then.

Then there was the visit of John F Kennedy. I never thought at 13 years of age I would be standing in Dorset Street, Dublin, with my friends from school, waving the Irish Tricolour flag and John F Kennedy waving back at us. I was star-struck -- he was so beautiful in his petrol-blue suit, tanned face and friendly smile. I was smitten!

Then the marriage of Gay Byrne and Kathleen Watkins in the early 1960s. Gay was even an icon then, arriving in a helicopter to the village of Saggart, Co Dublin.

I remember standing to get a glimpse of my hero Gay on the back of a Morris Minor.

The 1960s were fab! Telefis Eireann was born. We were all glued to 'The Virginian', 'The Riordans' and 'Wanderly Wagon' and, of course, Gay Byrne, the face of the 1960s and 'The Late Late Show'. It was a must-see on Saturday night, and it provided many a talking point after Mass on Sunday morning and even on the pulpit by the priests.

Then, The Beatles came to the Adelphi. My brother queued for hours but he got those golden tickets to hear and see the best group in the world.

I could write so much on 'Rolling Back the Years' and what a brilliant idea it was for the Irish Independent to publish the 10-part series of magazines and how I will miss it.

I want to say thanks for all the memories to the journalists and photographers in the paper.

Ms Terry Healy
Kill, Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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