|Garvin as he recounts his memory of Bloody Sunday|
Rumors rippled throughout town about who was involved, who was hurt, and what exactly happened following the day’s planned civil rights demonstration. Sadly and unexpectedly, the Kerr family phone rang and tragic news was relayed—a family member was dead as a result of the troubled and fierce exchange. Garvin’s mother sobbed and fell to her knees in prayer. Garvin’s throat swelled as his heart sank and the memory of Bloody Sunday permanently fixed itself in the young man’s soul.
|The walls surround Derry, an ancient 17th century city|
|The sun sets on the city of Derry|
Through the stories he tells on his Derry city tours, he hopes he leaves visitors feeling life was not all bad during the Troubles. When asked about his favorite memory, Garvin pauses as he mentally sifts through a lifetime of experience and stories. With a soft smile and twinkle in his eye, he affectionately says he loved the excitement of being young and falling in love with his wife, Marie. At age 15, Garvin met young Marie and by age 18, they were married. He says they knew immediately they were right for each other. They were excited to be a young married couple and looked forward to starting a life and family together.
|From right: Garvin, Karen, Brendan, Marie, Emmett & Garvin|
Today, Garvin and Marie have been married for 37 years and they have three grown children, Karen, Garvin, and Emmett. In his stories he conveys moments of wonder and a sense of extraordinariness about life, and how even in darkness it seems to be worth it, after all. Poet Jack Gilbert once wrote, “We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.”
|Young Garvin sitting on his father's lap|
Even still, people have a hard time understanding Garvin’s love of life in spite of the Troubles. From his perspective those people face a false division. To him, they see the world divided into realists who say the world is terrible, or naïve optimists who say the world is wonderful. Garvin’s approach is somewhere in the middle. He sees the world as terrible and wonderful and his obligation is to joy.