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Leprechauns

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"Leprechauns in Panama..."

 

With Saint Patrick's Day right around the corner and many of you out there being Irish.I wrote this story. It is taken from some of my most memorable experiences while living and enjoying the good life at the crossroads of the world.  Panama is a place once visited...one will always remember.  This little story is about leprechauns.  Maybe you have seen these wee little people in your travels or while living in Panama...

 

Leprechauns in Panama

 

Have you ever wondered while living in Panama, if there were any leprechauns in Panama?  Have you?

Well, let me say that i did think about leprechauns while living in Panama.  Also I strongly believe that there were some of these little folks in Panama and throughout the old Canal Zone.  The leprechauns as we all know are the keepers of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbows.  And check this out, with all the rainbows we had in Panama there must have been B00-Koo of leprechauns in Panama.  How you figure?  Well, think back if it has been a long time since you lived the Panama experience, Panama does have lots of rain.  Yes, after a real gully wash that may last 20 to 45 minutes a rainbow would appear like magic.  Yes, Mon. 

 

Sometimes there would be 2 or 3 rainbows at the same time.  Why?  Well, this often happens when the After Rain Watch List was garbled in transmission from Ireland to Panama.  See...the leprechauns would not know who really had the rainbow duty that day.  Now, leprechauns really loved the next side with all its rain that a Panama Canal Company Townsite was renamed "Rainbow City."  Yes, Mon....that is inteesting Kid but tell me more.  But just to keep everybody on the same sheet, the  Panagringo Leprechauns also referred to Rainbow City as "Arco-Iris."  This was to make sure the leprechauns were covering all the townsites and this little town on the way to "Coal-on" (Colon).  

 

Now the leprechauns in Panama were a hardy bunch.  Going on home leave to the Motherland of Ireland was more for rest and relaxation,  In Panama the leprechauns fought ongoing battles with snakes, spiders, ccarachas, centipedes, slugs, water bugs, bed bugs, termites, red army ants and all other kinds of pesky crawling things indigenous to Panama.  This sounds like what we were all doing while living the Panama Exeperience.  The leprechauns in Panama were furious warriors and survivors too!  They had learned to adapt, improvise and overcome.  No obstacle was too difficult!  See these leprechauns were jungle experts.  They too had survived the mean, ugly green hill obstacle  at Fort Sherman (JOTC).  HOOAH!!!  They all had certificates of achievements to prove it.

 

Now on home leave back in Ireland, they would spend most of their free time enjoying a pint at the local pub. Another thing we know for sure is that leprecahauns love Irish music and the camaraderie found in the pubs.  They would also take turns giving a devil of a fright to any unsuspecting lovely colleen who bend over backwards to kiss th Blarney Stone.

 

Leprechauns are know for keeping the Chicquita la banana green untill you were outside in the Balboa Panama Canal Company Commissary parking lot.  Then all bets were off.  Another bit of their handy work was putting the little green M & M candy in the millions of M & M packages around the world.  Making things green is their thing.  It is a leprechaun thing!  Like the shampoo in the Canal zone.  Its the chlorine in the swimming pool water you say.....maybe and maybe not.  But the leprchaun's sole mission in life is to make all things green and have fun doing it. 

 

They do recruit many helpers but for the most part they do it all.  In Panama the leprechauns were up every morning at O'Dark 30, so they could make somebody's day.  Hey, green water in the Goethals Memorial took a lot of planning to carry out.  Do you remember the green water?  Many of us also remember the soap suds and the bubbles in the memorial.  But that is another little story.  So, when Irish Spring is in the air we would see the results with green beer at the BYC or other favorite watering holes around the old Canal Zone.  Then breakfast could also produce some green eggs sunny side up.  Yes, it was a riot!  Now with all the rain in Panama, it was easy to keep the country side looking green all the time.  Did you ever enjoying the green water of the Amador Causeway?  What a sight for sore eyes! The water in the canal water way sparkled like an emerald.  King Ransom....you say.  No, just the local leprechauns having a little fun.

 

Now the lush green mountains surrounding Howard AFB and Fort Kobbe were post card perfect.  Some people would say, "Oh, it is Mother Nature doing her thing."  Not so.....No, it was the leprechauns at it again.

The Leprechaun in charge of the Panama Territories was no other than Senor Timothy O'Reilly.  Really? No, O'Reilley.  His loyal and dedicated assistant was Bamboo Willie O'Brien.  They both lived on the second floor of the Diablo Clubhouse.  Why there?  Well, Diablo Clubhouse was open 24 hours a day and they served the best coffee in the world......Cafe Duran.  O'Brien and O'Reilley had taken a liking to this coffee since being posted to Panama.  I bet you didn't know that leprechauns drank coffee.

 

Another thing I bet you didn't know, was that leprechauns like many of us did not just like mangos but they loved mangos!  Sometimes the little kids would see a leprechaun in the lower branches of a mango tree have a snack.  Some little kids would even talk to leprechauns.  They would adopt them as their special little friend.  Some old timers say that is like smiling.......I don't know.  I don't make judgments on that.  But did you ever see any leprechauns in Panama?

 

Even to this day the world population of leprechauns is a great mystery.  I guess it could be covered in that very popular TV program, "Unsolved Mysteries."  The Panamanian Leprechaun Studies conducted many years ago arrived at the conclusion that in order to determine how many leprechauns were really calling Panama their home.......You have to see them to count them.  Speedy Gonzales is fast but leprechauns are faster.  Once on the Gamboa straight away, something went by us so fast that we thought it might have been a space ship.  That night nobody was sure. But we can all recall that Tim said, "Gee what was that?" Shorty answered, "I don't know but it was smoking."  The Big Kahuna replied, "It could have been an ET." Then we all replied, ""Naw......no way." 

 

And that is how one night so many years ago on the straigh away to Gamboa.  The study did show that if the leprechauns want to be seen, they will let you see them.   Another incident that happen one night at the VFW in Cocoli, when the kid lost his blue suede shoes in the parking lot.  A real mystery.  Although some say it was ET's.  Then one night many years ago the BYC at Fort Amador had some interesting unexplained lights over the canal waterway. They were tracked by radar but they were going too fast to determine what they really were.  It could have been some new leprechauns arriving from Ireland on a fact-finding trip.  But the real kicker was the night when a bunch of regulars were kicking back with a few Panamas in the Snake Pit in Curundu. Then close to the witching hour the telephone rang.  The bartender, Mr. White, picked up the phone and then asked if "Willie O'Brien" was in the house.  Yes, there are many more stories like these that have been told about strange happenings in the old Canal Zone.  But did you ever see any leprechauns in Panama?

 

Now back in 1957 at Balboa High School on 17 March, a little bit after one in the afternoon, some kids said they saw some little green rushes about 6 inches off the floor dart into the school library.  Now, there were a lot of kids in there studying and some were sleeping too.  Nobody swears to it for sure......but that day the clock on the wall in the library lost 15 minutes.  Another unsolved mystery?  Maybe and maybe not.  But later that evening some kids going to Coal-on (Colon) on the train said they saw what they thought looked like a group of leprechauns riding the rails to the next side. 

 

Now who do you think came up with the idea of the green and white as school colors for the old Canal Zone Junior College?  Have you ever heard of a Green Devil?  Well, those of us who attended CZJC remember the fighting Green Devil's Football Team.  One of their secret plays was the Hail Mary pass.  It was just fantastic and worked every time.  Of course it was only use maybe twice a season.  But it worked like magic!  And remember the Diablo crossing at the bottom of the hill from the Diablo Clubhouse.  It was called the Christmas Tree Crossing.  Many wonder what engineering firm had designed it.  A person who wishes to remain anonymous said privately to me that it had been a joint venture with the Green Wee Little People & Associates of Ireland and Caramba Que Pasa, SA of the North Pole.  Yes, Mon and no kidding..

 

Now, Private Charlie Kahuna Jones, US Army, Fort Clayton, while living in building 519 in Section E, the old psycho ward said that one tropical misty morning when the dew laid heavily on the grass like a damp GI wool blanket he spotted a little green fellow on top of his green foot locker.  He rubbed his eyes to try to focus better so early in the morning. Then he thought it must be the bit of green beer he had enjoyed the night before at the BYC.  When he thought maybe his mind was playing tricks......his alarm went off and the vision of the little leprechaun vanished into thin air.  Now, even after all these years, Charlie is not sure of what he saw that misty tropical morning so long ago. But even til this day, he can not explain the green shamrock, encased in plastic, that he discovered on his key ring with the note:"Charlie, my friend, rub it for Good Luck! Signed O'Reilley."

 

Now that could be a lot of Blarney.......but Charlie says that is what happen that morningso many years ago in a far away place called Panama.  But did you ever see any leprechauns in Panama?

 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!!!

 

God Bless all who read these tracks.     

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