As the old song goes:
And because time was on his side
Time is certainly on Tony Mangan`s side. Although three score years old and rambling the world like a child at Christmas, he walks with ease and a smile to all he meets. He has time for everyone he encounters. Everywhere he visits he has a natural sense of wonder for. That`s Tony Mangan for you and that`s how he lives his life.
Right now Tony is wandering around Vietnam and not too far from China. There it is dry and arid. The people smile simply because they can. It`s a far cry from where Tony was not long after the recession hit us and he embarked on his trails running the world some years ago. Then when he eventually set off on his world run (after allowing it to ruminate in him mind for the previous twenty years or so) he fleet footed his way from Dublin to west Kerry on his first leg of the almighty ambition. As the rain and Irish weather was overpowering all that chanced standing out in it for too long, Tony was different and he just kept running along unfretted by it’s unwelcoming vibe.
Locals in the south west were perhaps indoors watching re-runs of the great Kerry teams of the 1970s on finer Summer days as they clobbered the Dubs in Croke Park, yet one Dub was pounding the pavements outside and unrelenting to the Kerry ills of climatic punishment. In went As Tony sought a brief refreshment in a local store, there he was greeted with the typical Kerry ‘shoot from the hip ‘style of banter from the lady behind the counter when she said:
What has you out on a day like today?
But a quick reply by Tony was:
I’m running around the world!
Having an ambition like Mangan`s is something we can all have, but fulfilling it is quite another thing. Tony is doing so for a second time. There`s that word again ‘Time’. As Tony`s old songster Bob Dylan continued to sing:
…Now your dancing child with his Chinese suit he Spoke to me, I took his flute No, I wasn’t very cute to him, was I? But I did it, because he lied and Because he took you for a ride…
Soon Tony will be in China. He will have met thousands of folk from all around the yet he will always remember that Kerry woman who retorted in reply to his audacious admittance of ‘I’m running around the world’ with a sharp reply that it was simply ‘ a bad day’ to begin such an attempt.
Had she looked at Tony in the eye and gasped at his manly and outrageous ambition, she may have been better to have jumped the counter and hoped on the back of a Dub that is definitely going somewhere and can sing the old Bod Dylan number to any lady who`ll perk her ear to his charming ways of worldly wonder.