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Lights that Guide:
Lighthouses of Ireland
There's something about lighthouses!  Who hasn't gazed at an ancient light and
tried to imagine the lives of the heroic light keepers who struggled - sometimes
valiantly - to keep the light ablaze?  I became intrigued with the old Milneburg
lighthouse when I was a child.  There had been a land reclamation project years
before and that's how a lighthouse that had once stood in the waters of Lake
Pontchartrain wound up in the middle of Ponchartrain Beach Amusement Park.
Often, throughout my teenage years, while friends and family rode the park's
rides, I would sit on a nearby bench admiring the old light - thinking of the things
it must have witnessed since its construction in 1838.  I've been in love with
lighthouses ever since.  -- Nancy

The lighthouses on this page are all from the land of my
Baldridge and Cain ancestors, Ireland.  Erin go bragh!
I've always found inspiration in the solitary figure of the lighthouse, how it
stands straight and strong despite the battering of the wind and
the way so that ships might sail freely in the dark of night.  -- Chris Atkinson
There is a light that guides us through the darkest days. Losing sight
of it isn't an indication that it has been extinguished, just that we
may no longer be looking for it. -- Herbert Morales
Seamen love to tell the story of an old schooner captain who followed
the beacon of a lighthouse that was no longer there.
One evening, the captain's vessel was caught in a storm a few miles off
the coast.  Though blinded by the heavy weather, he decided to make a
run for the calmer waters of a nearby harbor.    The approaches were
strewn with rocks and dangerous shoals, but the captain avoided all the
obstacles and, before long, his schooner was riding safely at anchor.
Astonished by the captain's skill, the young first mate asked him
how he had managed to navigate in such terrible conditions.
"Nothin' to it," the captain replied.  "I just took hold of the lighthouse
beacon and followed her right in."
The first mate reminded him that the lighthouse guarding this harbor
had fallen into the sea years earlier.  "Makes no difference at all,"
snapped the aging mariner.  "I've been sailing these waters since before
you were born and I remember right where that lighthouse used to stand."
Which proves that lighthouses have the power to guide and inspire even
after their towers have fallen and their beacons shine no more.  
-- From "Lost Lighthouses" by Tim Harrison and Ray Jones
In the fog and mist,
when your boat disappears between
waves as tall as the evergreen,
look to the shore.
Don't look back or to the side.
Pick a point on the shore and head there.
When the waves toss and turn,
keep your eyes fixed on the same spot,
and don't give up.
Focus on the lighthouse, and make your mind
to stay the course.
-- Author Unknown
Some old salts swear that when the sun sets on a hazy summer evening,
they can still see the faint signal of a long-ago extinguished navigational
beacon and even hear the call of its bell.  The next time you walk along a
beach at nightfall, listen carefully and scan the horizon.  Who knows
what ancient bells you may hear or ghostly lights you may see?
-- From "Lost Lighthouses" by Tim Harrison and Ray Jones
More about the Milneburg lighthouse:

Those Milneburg Joys

Story of Pontchartrain Beach