Irish Road Bowling–It’s a Small World

A few weeks ago we got a postcard in the mail letting us know that the local Irish Road Bowling team would be holding their regional finals on our rural road. Having grown up near Ireland, WV, I was familiar with Irish Road Bowling. It’s the sort of sport I suspect was invented by some Irishmen well into their cups. The idea is to roll a heavy, metal ball (it used to be cannon shot) as far as you can along the road without it rolling out of the road. Curvy, mountain roads are, of course, more challenging. Simple.

So, that weekend, we sat out on the front porch to watch the competition. (Thistle was particularly enthusiastic about all the people wandering by.) A few of our neighbors were walking along with the bowlers. When Rob saw me he called out to some of the bowlers that I, too, was from WV.

I walked to the road to introduce myself and went through the usual, we’re-from-the-same-state conversation. Well, it turns out the bowlers were not only from WV, they were from my hometown. A pair of brothers attended high school with me two years ahead and two years behind–the older one remembered my brother.

And here we were, standing along a country road in Western North Carolina.

Which made me wonder–when something like this happens in real life it’s an astonishing delight, but what would happen if I wrote it into a book? Does it suddenly seemed contrived? Forced? Hmmm. Proof that truth IS stranger than fiction.

3 thoughts on “Irish Road Bowling–It’s a Small World

  1. So funny — because YES, your editor might think it was too much of a coincidence IF the plot hinged on this chance meeting. I get “caught” like this every once in awhile. I’ll tell an author “No, too far-fetched” and she’ll say, “It happened to me!” But there are degrees of far-fetched-ness. This one doesn’t bother me all that much. 🙂 Sometimes I tell the author to acknowledge the coincidence somehow, which then makes it less problematic to me. (It has to be subtle.) Bottom line, it’s a gut reaction that has to take into account everything else in the story. Hahahahahaha.

    1. Oh, right. So long as you remember to take EVERYTHING else into account. It astonishes me how sometimes I’ll reread a chapter and think, “Did I write that? I must have written that.” Sometimes it’s even something good. But no road bowling. At least not yet.

  2. Pingback: Appalachian Thursday–Going to Ireland – Sarah Loudin Thomas – Author

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