Getting this party started

South of the border
Getting this party started

THE launching pad for SOTB sits somewhere between Jack Gibbons’ Pub in Shrule and Maire Lukes Bar in Tourmakeady. We’ve promised all fellow and lady wordsmiths to sit within those parameters whenever possible. “And it won’t be for the want a’ trying either Father” as the oft-jilted spinster said when she phoned the Knock Marriage Bureau for the umpteenth time.
But thankfully, we negotiated a bit of elbow room because Carracastle always proves a magnet beyond resistance. This is John Healy country. The column harbours an affection fathoms deep for the man and his dogma. Copies of his wonderful publications, ‘Nineteen Acres’ and ‘No One Shouted Stop’ should be “must read” and permanent fixtures in every Mayo classroom from Kilroe near Lough Corrib to Kilcummin on the coast.
A Tupperware party lured me eastwards along the John Healy by-pass. We’re gyrating back a bit now to ‘Bosco’, ‘Gaybo’, ‘Ballymagash’ and ‘Halls Pictorial Weekly’. Dallas nights with J.R. and Sue Ellen. Or ‘Swellin’ as the ladies in the Larches Bar beyond Finney christened her.  And Sally O’Brien and the way she might look at ya’. We were gobsmacked back then by Willie Nally, Samantha Fox and Moss Keane. The world was young.
It was Earl Silus Tupper from New Hampshire who kick-started Tupperware in 1937 as a method of using surplus plastic. And I thought recycling was a Padraig Flynn brainwave. Tupperware ‘bombed’ as they say in Hollywood (or was that Hollymount) in the shops.
You couldn’t give it away. Customers were having trouble with the seals on the containers. Old Silus had them locked airtight. But Brownie Wise solved the dilemma and then decided staging Tupperware parties in the home was the way to go. Silus even made her a director in the company. Brownie Wise was one smart lady.
But Tupperware parties are alive and well here in Mayo. They never really went away as I discovered last Thursday night. You can roll it there Colette. After a genuine welcome from Karen Quinn, I was blessed amongst women in Teresa Quinn’s homely kitchen in Carragoola. I missed the original party because the Quinn family were celebrating 33 happy years in Carragoola that very day.
They were all there. The Regans, Griffens, Murphys, Callaghans, Lavins, Owens, O’Garas, and the McLoughlins all scrub up well. They were out in style.
Bea Reilly and Ann Keane were Tupperware ‘boogieing’ again after a 38 year absence. Obviously their babysitters didn’t turn up all those years ago so they were brought along in the buggy.
Margaret Henry is facilitator in this bailiwick for Tupperware Ireland. A lovely unassuming lady, Margaret has had a life-long love affair with Tupperware.  She firmly believes in the product and uses it daily in her own home.
Margaret’s sales pitch is bereft of all the marketing palaver visited on unsuspecting buyers nowadays. There was no pointing to the fire exit or turning off the phone request in her preamble either. It paid off too. Margaret was barely in her stride when a mobile tripped.  After the usual bit of fumbling and the customary blushes, the receiver passed over to Margaret. It was a customer over the village ordering a sealed container. On-line purchasing Carracastle style.
Margaret Henry’s Tupperware fuses the selling stall to the social. Browsing her catalogue brings people together in a kitchen. They discover the worth of neighbourliness all over again. It was something we had sacrificed at the altar of blind greed.
This gathering in Carragoola is the rural Ireland we need to return to rapidly if we have any hope of getting through this economic mire we’re buried deep in. John Healy would concur.
Margaret Henry hosts lovely nights as she sets her wares on the kitchen counter. Her venture deserves success beyond her wildest dreams. You can contact Margaret at 087 6732254 or You’ll be glad you did.
Regular readers in Cloonkeary or Paris will be thrilled to hear they still have the cream quick shake.
Every home should have one.