Shea has three comfortable rooms jammed, crammed and stuffed with ceramic collections, photographs of family members and mementos from trips across the country and to Ireland.But the most striking thing about Shea’s apartment is the movies. There are thousands of them, stacked in piles and sorted on shelves.
“I don’t even know how many I have,” Shea said. “There’s too many to count.”
Shea is well known in his home town, and not just because he’s the town’s most famous movie buff. Shea is an Iris man recognizable to almost everyone in this largely Irish town.
If you’ve lived here, you’ve probably met Tony — either at a show at the Washoe Theatre or from his days working at local markets. Or maybe you checked out one of the books he wrote from the library.
So begins the story Apostrophe published about Tony Shea in 2009.
Tony is still writing today from his home in Butte. This is the fifth installment of Tony’s Corner, a regular Apostrophe web feature.
By Tony Shea
It was on Friday, July 16th. We waited for a bit, and then we got started at 5 p.m. The driver picked me up. I was in my wheelchair. He put me on the bus lift and told me I would have to sit on a seat because Jim was in his wheelchair and already strapped down.
I always say “Powder River” when starting out an outing. It was a little smoky outside. We had a good driver. We went 25 miles to Anaconda for Art in Washoe Park. When we arrived at Washoe Park there were a lot of cars. I MEAN A LOT OF CARS.
There is a big brown building at the park. It used to be a swimming pool. We only swam there once when I was a kid because they closed it on account of a polio outbreak in the 1950s. The driver parked near the big brown building, and I told him he got a good parking place. Then he used the lift to get all three of us off the bus. We walked about two blocks. The driver had to pull me backwards because of the rocks on the ground. We got to the admission gate, and it was $4 to get into the park. From there I was the caboose. We went by the new swimming pool, and we saw a lot of people. We come upon a puddle of water, and the driver said, “There is another swimming pool!”
So we went on the art part, and again there were a lot of people. I said to the one pushing the wheelchair, “There is my rubber duck!” We went on and we got over to the food, and I saw the scones. I got a scone, and I was glad because we had to wait in line and of course because there was so many people. A lot them I did not know. I finished my scone, and we got to the dinner. They paid for it, and we looked for a place to sit. This year I did not have a problem with my walker because I was in the wheelchair. The van driver sat with me. He said something nice. I had a couple pieces of the end cut of the meat, and there were beans and potato salad, and good old watermelon, and corn done the right way. And it was nice because there was a lot of people, like Donna Kelly, and the Campbell family and I talked to a lot of people. We finished eating and all went to go together. I got some raffle tickets when we all got together. I told the bus driver, maybe we can wait by the swimming pool, and it worked out fine. We had a tough time getting out of the parking lot because of all the cars, but we made it out. I had a good time seeing all the people and enjoying the good food.