Heart of Gold

If you want to get ahold of me on any given Sunday night, between the hours of 6 and 10pm, it is a safe bet you will find me sitting across the bar at Mulligans on the Blue, enjoying a pint or two.  Mulligans is an amazing Irish pub with great pub fare, good drinks and remarkable people.  It is my happy place…my Cheers if you will.

Of all the times I’ve been to Mulligans, Sunday, September 18th will forever live in my heart and soul.

I have been going to Mulligans on the Blue as often as possible since the Dell’Ergos took me there on a Sunday night back in the summer of 2003.  I began going Sunday nights for the White Russians and the live music, but it has turned into so much more since those early days.  As my tastes have matured I have left the White Russians behind, moved onto Hornsby’s Crisp Apple Cider and finally have been satisfied drinking a Harp Lager or two, with the occasional Car Bomb on special occasions.

Even though my refreshment tastes have been altered over the years, the constant at Mulligans has always been the music and the proprietor.

First, The Music:

The Celtic Tigers, a rock and roll Irish band, have owned Sunday nights since before I made my way out to Maui.  The lineup has changed a few times, but the attitude remains the same…they are there to have fun.  Murray Thorne and Kris Thomas have been the foundation of an ever-changing/evolving line-up.  While Murray is belting out the tunes and destroying his guitar in the process, Kris is the hiding behind his drum kit keeping the beat and playing the songs HIS way.  (If you get a chance to watch him play, he truly is a master at what he does.  I always feel that drummers are underappreciated, but Kris Thomas is an artist at his craft.)  Murray and the boys play traditional Irish folk songs to modern-day masterpieces and everything in between.  They have no predetermined set list and the crowd participation can easily dictate their songs for the night.  The crowds are always timid at first, but the Tigers can get you clapping or yelling back at them within a matter of songs…or pints.  Mulligans and the Celtic Tigers have NEVER charged a cover charge on Sunday nights in the 8 years that I’ve been a patron.  That decision falls on one man…Mike O’Dwyer.

Second, The Man:

Mike O’Dwyer is a businessman with a heart as big as his temper.  Before I got to know him, Mike used to surprise me with his amazing use of the English language and an explosive temper.  He could summarize a ten-minute argument into simple four letter words that would make even a sailor blush.

Now Mike surprises me with his kindness and generosity.

Mike owns Mulligans on the Blue as well as co-owns Matteo’s Pizzeria, both located in Wailea right around the corner from where I work.  Working a job with constant customer interaction I tend to be critical when I go out to eat or stay at hotels.  I will not go back to places I feel are rude, unclean, over priced or tourist traps.  Mike knows how to provide great service and even though his establishments are complete opposites, the service at both locations is the main reason I continue to support them.

Now that I’ve explained the main characters in this short story, let us get to the heart of the matter.

Sunday, September 18th:  Mike and his amazing crew at Mulligans, held their annual “Half Way to St. Paddy’s Day” celebration and turned it into a fundraiser to help with the cost of my medical bills due to my motorcycle collision back in May.  Mike did this of his own accord.  I never asked him, in fact he mentioned it awhile back and I dismissed it, not wanting the attention or to be a bother.

My mom happened to be visiting for two weeks, so not only did I have plenty of friends, but I also had family out here to witness the love Maui has for me…and I for it.

What can you say of a person who has the love and generosity to help you in your darkest hour?  A person who takes it upon themselves to do what they can to ease your burden.  I don’t know if I will ever be able to thank Mike properly, but until I figure it out I am proud to call him my friend.

I will never be able to find the words to thank everybody for their kindness during this humbling time in my life.  I hope to repay everyone by returning the love and compassion they have shown, and continue to show, me.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Vincent Lorusso Written by:

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

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