Post Travels: A Brief Visit to Ireland — Day 3: A Bit of a Diversion

Post editorial director Steve Slon shares his stories of travel in Ireland, including a gorgeous day of golf at Mt. Juliet.

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Steve Slon attends a conference of travel writers in Ireland and does a little sightseeing, as well. See the entire series

In the morning, I host a panel with George Stone, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler and Lorrie Lynch, executive editor of AARP’s website. The nominal subject is “Travel Writing — Past, Present and Future,” which gives us the leeway to talk about pretty much anything. Now, that’s my kind of panel discussion!

So, where is magazine publishing going? Well, obviously more and more online, the implications of which (how much writers get paid; what they have to do to sell a story; what publishers have to do to draw readers to their site) are of much more interest to those of us in the field than to the casual reader of magazines and consumer of web content, so I’ll spare you the details. It’s more of that “digital landscape” stuff, which does concern me immensely (though I studiously avoid using that term).

Okay, I see you’re not satisfied with my dancing around this subject. You want details? What I can say is that the Post is working on expanding its web offering to allow readers to peruse any of the 3000 magnificent  illustrated covers from the 20th century, including over 300 by our most famous cover illustrator, Norman Rockwell. This, and another big project to post every edition of the magazine in our archive dating to 1821. It’s not ready yet, but it’s going to be a really great gift to our subscribers. We’ll keep you posted.

In the afternoon, I have another series of sessions with individual writers, where I hear more terrific ideas. Among them, cities in North America with a foreign flavor (think: Miami and New Orleans, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg); “the last wild protein” (the ocean fisheries and what can be done to protect them); a personal history by a woman who adopted a six-year-old child of a drug addicted mother (see, I told you this wasn’t only about travel ideas), and several more good ones.

The minute my scheduled sessions end, I make a mad dash for the front desk, where a taxi is waiting to whisk me away to Mt. Juliet for a round of golf. Yes, I’ve been obsessing about it since the evening before, and now I’ve found a way to squeeze it in. I actually reach the pro shop around 4:30 and, playing alone, finish about 7:30.

The third hole of Mt Juliet. Vicious par three with water all the way down to — and surrounding — the green.

While playing, I get rained on three separate times, but the sun seems always to break out between the downpours. During the rainy parts, I remember the words of the cab driver, who had pointed out that “skin is waterproof.”  An extremely useful attitude in these parts.

It rained three times, but who cares when you get a scene like this?

Bonus: on the way there, I managed to stop and return that expensive wall-socket adapter I had purchased on day 1 of this trip.

If you want to know how I did on the golf course, I will answer by saying only this: I had a really good time.

What? You want to know more? Okay, look, this is the toughest course I’ve ever played. That’s the context, okay? So, after losing four balls on the first three holes, I decided to stop keeping score. From then on, I relaxed and enjoyed the game – even made a few good shots. It was awesome! And I only lost two more balls the rest of the way.

Steve Slon is the Editorial Director for The Saturday Evening Post. See the entire series

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