Welcome to the first post of the “Legend” Short Documentary! This is written by yours truly, Liz Wilk. If you have not already, be sure to “Like” our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter! We also have a Google+ Page, or if you only like pictures follow me on Instagram @dubliz!
Alright, now that we have the shameless plug out of the way, let’s really get to the blog.
First off, I will admit it. I am as American as I can possibly be. But it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the places from which my ancestors came from. My great-grandparents were the last generation in my family to travel from Ireland to the United States. Both were from Co. Down in Northern Ireland, yet they did not meet each other until settling in the Chicago area.
I never met either, but I grew up hearing stories about them here and there, and about the stories they shared with my grandmother, and later my mom, and aunts and uncle. The most prominent stories that I can recall being told are from my great-grandfather Morgan. In one that I was told as a kid, he promised to bring my mom and aunts a leprechaun back from Ireland while on a visit. When he returned home, he told them that he had caught one, but the leprechaun escaped through a hole in his pillowcase.
In another, he retold how he and friends spent a Saturday evening playing poker, but they didn’t keep an eye on the clock as it was a sin to gamble especially on a Sunday. So when the clock struck midnight and they continued playing, the game was disrupted when laughter and talking could be heard upstairs in the house. Deciding to go investigate, the group found nothing, but according to the story I was told – as they ascended the stairs the laughter and talking passed by them to the downstairs where they had been playing cards. The explanation I was told, that I am sure my mom and my grandmother were told, was unseen spirits were fairies. These oral histories are perhaps one of the greatest resources for not only first hand accounts of historical events, but also keeping alive cultures, beliefs, and other treasures of cultural heritage.
The film I am working to complete is not only about how folklores have influenced people, but about how the stories and the beliefs are important not only for the preservation of sites (and perhaps even wildlife), but also for the preservation of the culture. I am not making fun of anyone. I am not telling you as viewers (and readers) what to believe. I simply want to show why these folklores, legends, beliefs (all depending on what you believe) are important with their connection to the land and the people.