The O’Flaherty Summer
By David Esteppe
Almost two years ago, I ran into Everett O’Flaherty, the tall drink of water with a very regal demeanor you might know around town, outside of the Wild Bean coffee shop. I would later get to know Everett as a recycling customer of Greenworks Recycling; and while doing a recycling pickup recently at his home, I watched him wrangling two dogs he had just rescued from the Humane Society. He had gone to adopt a dog and ended up bringing a second dog home. The second dog was in the process of being dropped off and Ev thought, “why not bring him home too?” I thought to ask the big-time animal lover if I could interview him for the paper. He obliged.
Over breakfast at the General Lewis Inn, Everett filled me in about his summer. During our chat, Nan Morgan of the General Lewis Inn, came over to the table to ask Everett if he knew there was a photograph of his grandmother with her mother on the wall in the of the foyer. He did not know that; but we both thought it was pretty cool. Turns out his grandmother and Nan’s mother were good friends.
His plans to travel this summer included a trip to Alaska to attend his friends’ wedding in Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula. O’Flaherty and his girlfriend Jennifer Morgan, who both work at the Sporting Club within The Greenbrier Resort, were able to score the time off this summer to travel to Alaska and reconnect with many friends from Lewisburg who now live there. Part of the draw to Alaska is the beauty, which he describes as similar to what we have here. “Alaska has all of the qualities of West Virginia,” Everett says, “including mountains, rivers, vistas and its citizenry’s general love of the land.”
While visiting the Kenai Peninsula, an area the size of the whole state of West Virginia, Everett and Jennifer rented a car for a few days of touring and also took a nine hour cruise sight-seeing humpback whales, sea lions, seals and many migratory seabirds. Along with hanging out with friends from home, Everett met folks who are living as migrant workers as a way to enjoy seasons in Alaska, California and Hawaii. What a great idea to spend part of each year in those three states, huh?
As luck would have it, a call to pay a power bill turned into winning a free cruise to the Bahamas for Everett. It turns out to be not that unusual. Promotions on the part of cruise lines to fill occupancy during off seasons include using resources such as automated bill paying features for many different entities such as power companies. You call in and are randomly chosen to receive the promotion. The only catch seems to be needing to pay insignificant port fees and having to listen to an upsale effort by the cruise line. Everett has plans to do the cruise this fall.
Everett is a member of a local cover band called Lion Slaying Ape. Explaining how his band got their name, Everett told the story of a large canvas poster. It was a gift from his father and depicted a scary scene of an ape on the back of a lion as the ape’s teeth sinking into the lion. Does the lion slay the ape? Or is it a lion-slaying ape ? That is the question.
This Saturday night Everett will be playing bass with his band at the annual Woodstock Family Reunion on Friars Hill Road in Renick. Gatherers from the original Woodstock crowd are in their 40th-something year of celebrating the famous music festival.
He works on planning events at Swift Level Farm; and intends to continue doing that in the future. Everett is very knowledgeable about fine food and wine and is completing his Level One sommelier certification. He has plans of continuing to develop his interest in the hospitality industry.
Some short term goals for this winter will include working on a trip to Hawaii with the possibility of working there for the season, and a similar idea of doing the same thing in New Zealand.
Carpe Diem, Everett! Thank you for your kindness!
The new bicycle rack in front of The Irish Pub on Washington Street. Hill and Holler Bicycle shop donated the rack; and there are plans for more to be placed throughout downtown Lewisburg.