Romance in the Lighthouse – Jim Richardson

Here are Larry and Pauline Butler, keepers of the Galley Head Lighthouse in County Cork on Ireland’s rugged and remote south coast. Larry and Pauline were both third generation lighthouse keepers. When I visited there years ago I saw the picture on the wall and asked who all those people were. “Oh, those are our children,” said Larry.

“Really”, I said, “how many”.

“Oh, fourteen,” said Larry!

So we took them and the picture outside to do a portrait and while we were standing there talking about all the children, fourteen of them in a lighthouse, Larry gave this explanation. He flexed his muscles and said with a wry grin, “What else are you going to do at a lighthouse?” At which point Pauline leaned over and laughed on his shoulder. I’m sure she had heard Larry’s joke many times over the decades, but she still laughed anyway. She really loved him. They’re both gone now.