As per request, I've told you-all one thing you didn't already know about me. I thought of another one.
I sang backup for an Irish rock star.
No, really. In the dungeon of an old castle, no less.
Like the South Armagh incident, this took place on the Eireann Isle.
When I was a teenager living in Ireland, my mother and I decamped one summer for a holiday at Bargy Castle in Wexford. The castle had a fun history. An old Norman fortress, it once was captured by Oliver Cromwell, and also played a role in the Wexford Rebellion of 1798.
When we visited, though, the castle was at peace. It was owned by the Davison family, distant relatives to the local and ancient Deburgos clan, and whose son Chris was beginning to venture out as a rock singer.
Every night after dinner, the castle guests all moseyed to the dungeon. There, the guests sat in the large vault while Chris stood at a makeshift stage. He played guitar and sang. In those days, I was a bit of a singer, myself. Rocker Chris asked me to join him at the mic to serenade the guests. We sang "My Sweet Lord," "American Pie," and other standards of the day.
On my mother's advice, Chris changed his stage name into something a bit more dramatic than Chris Davison. He then became Christopher DeBurgh. Many years later, he is an established rock singer, best known for his song The Lady in Red, which is said to have been a favorite of Princess Diana. He also is a war history buff. A couple years ago, for instance, he snapped up a handwritten letter from a British soldier stationed at the front on Christmas Day, 1914.
But here's the really cool part to this story.
When I was at the castle, the guests were assigned permanent places at the dinner table. I mentioned to one of our hosts that I liked war history, and wound up being paired with the resident elderly war veteran, Chris' grandfather. The grandfather was at least 90 years old.
He also was known as General Sir Eric de Burgh. And what a remarkable man! He was a living, breathing witness to some of the pivotal military actions of modern times. Among his many experiences, he fought at the Somme in 1916, and took part in other major battles of World War I. He served in Afghanistan. He was the British Army's Chief of the General Staff in India in 1939. He fought in World War II. He knew "Monty" quite well. He was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and was an officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Students of mil-history will understand what the foregoing means: Sir Eric had chops.
The General told me his secret to longevity, and regaled me with war stories so vivid that I remember them to this day.
Now, that is something to sing about! I think - I'm not sure, but I think - Chris did.