It began last fall before the 2009 Celtic Woman tour began. Some discussion had been made with regard to what the forum should get Mairead for her birthday. It was thought that it should be something unique, useful, and tasteful.
In March of 2009 on the heels of the amazing events at MaireadFest in Wilkes-Barre that gift was ordered. The item is produced in Arkansas by a small family owned company called Incredibow. They make unique fiddle bows that are durable and some quite colorful.
It was not easy but I decided on a bright, metallic, emerald green one. The folks at Incredibow moved me ahead of some orders knowing who it was for and that her birthday would soon be upon us. I picked it up at a distributor in Albuquerque called Apple Mountain music. It came wrapped in a soft, black cloth with a gold ribbon around it and a pink paper rose. The presentation was lovely. I unwrapped it and the bow just leaped out and said Hi I'm for Mairead! Well, it may as well have. I thought it would be fun for her to use with her green electric fiddle back in Ireland at gigs and sessions. I knew the one she used with Celtic Woman was expensive and she was comfortable with it.
Well, I flew to Dallas for her birthday and the show there. I had hoped to present it to her in person at the meet & greet. That was not to be as I'm sure she had plenty of things set up by others to celebrate her day. I gave it to her good friend, and fellow Celtic Woman, Lisa. She was only too happy to be the one to give it to her. A few days later Mairead posted a blog acknowledging having received it.
Later on Mairead posted another blog stating she would try to actually use the bow in concert at Red Rocks for the finale. I was elated and really stunned. I never thought she would set aside her expensive bow that she is so used to in order to use that gift. It is not easy to do as the feel, weight, and tone of each bow is different, and she would have to break it in and get used to it.
So, July 1st and 2nd arrive and the final nights of the inaugural Isle Of Hope tour occur. Many of us in her forum are there in anticipation. I had requested that photos be taken by CW of her using the bow so that all members of her forum could see it. To our great surprise she wielded the new bow about halfway into the first act! She then used it much of the time throughout the remainder of the show. Many of us stood, clapped, wept, and smiled so much it hurt. Again the next night she did the same thing. Their road manager said that photos were taken back stage the first night due to the weather. I can safely speak for many in looking forward to seeing those photos.
Every member of her forum was given a great honor those two nights. That is a huge statement of gratitude and respect by Mairead to everyone in the enchanted forest. I cannot thank her enough for that loving act and for her support throughout the tour and before it. It was a great honor to select it, deliver it, and be there for its first public performance. Will it be on the DVD? Well, that is up to her.
Thanks to those who donated toward that gift. Monies over and above the cost of it went to her Oxfam Charity account. Thank you Mairead for everything. I love you. Now off to Ireland in a few weeks! May there always be pixie dust in your lives.