Michael Philip Holmes was born on the 16th September 1949 in the small community of Hillbank down in the south east corner of the Irish Republic, just outside Waterford. He was the 5th generation descended from Romany Gypsy ancestors.
It was a small community. Everyone knew everyone. Gossip was always the diet of the women of the community. Young Michael, and his sister Rosie, were always together. They had this odd habit of sitting on the pavement and staring hard at passers-by then suddenly giggling to themselves, hugging each other. It was something that people passing them always felt a bit uncomfortable about, as the young children’s eyes followed them.
As the young couple got a little older their staring at people became more intensive, much to the irritation of people who became the object of their scrutiny. People were becoming convinced they were what they called “Fey”, and were “With the little people”, but feared they were with “The bad ones”. People were convinced the two were able to read their minds. This came to a head one day when they caused a violent feud between two families through something the pair revealed.
The two became outcasts in the community, as did their parents. No one wanted anything to do with them. Sadly Rosie died at the age of 13, leaving Michael lost and alone at the age of 15. At the age of 19 Michael left the community with what savings he had, and decided to leave the country altogether.
He ended up in the south of England where he found a job on a farm. He was so unused to farm work that the farmer eventually sacked him. His money ran out and he found himself on the road. He had a bad time trying to survive until he fell in with two men who called themselves “Gentlemen of the Road”.
They said they were Robbie and Tim. Michael just said he was Michael. They immediately called him “Mick”, a name which followed him the rest of his life. Through these two new friends he discovered a group of men and a woman who lived on the open road. They all became close friends, looking after each other and sharing everything until one day circumstances forced them on their own separate ways. Life took a major change of direction for Mick.
This story goes on to relate the ups and downs and highs and lows of his life through happy times and bad times. Throughout he always wanted to be honest and reliable, a characteristic which was to bring him both good times and not so good times, even to a close shave with untimely death.