Waiting for the ferry to Cork, I explored around a little. Seems that Swansea is another town settled by Vikings after the Celts had lived thereabouts for centuries. Then 1066 — the Normans invaded. The local icon of this cultural upheaval is Swansea Castle built in 1106, forty years later. The castle gave the Welsh something to attack. So they did, again and again. After 300 years, they stopped. The Welsh and English had grown accustomed to each other enough to quit fighting — sort of like an old married couple battling it out when they were younger, but now, many children later, they just shrug. It isn't worth the further waste of energy. The castle, like most unattended architectures, gradually crumbled from neglect. Now it sits with seascape on one side and skyscrapers on the other.

KidwellyOxwichOystermouth Bishop'sLlansteffanWeoblyPennard

Have you ever noticed how strangers who fight each other eventually become friends? The best of enemies — BEFs — grow weary of enmity and reconcile sooner or later. You can watch little boys on the playground doing the same — example: Abe Lincoln and Jack Armstrong. Wars actually bring the bitterest of enemies closer together. Opposing warriors get to know each other better than the civilians they fight for. Today's competitive corporations eventually merge. It's a guy thing — Rome and Greece, France and Germany, France and England, England and America, America and Japan, America and China. Israel and Palestine? America and Al-Qaeda? Hard to believe in the present, but we do not foresee the future beyond one generation. Will Bin Laden grace the hoods of future vehicles as does Pontiac, the fiercest terrorist of the 18th century frontier? In 100 years, the Muslim world will be more democratic, and America more Muslim. Why? The conquered become the religious leaders of the conquerors. This seems to be a basic law in the evolvement of civilizations. After you beat 'em up, swallow their spirits too.

The night ferry to Cork took 10 hours. I slept most of the way across that part of the Celtic Sea known as Saint George's Channel. Last year in 2012, Fastnet, the latest company to declare bankruptcy after connecting Wales to Ireland for years, laid off its 78 employees. Perhaps Swansea was pretty enough so no one cared to go any further. But in 1975, I did. I was eager to find my roots in the ancestral home. And so I sailed gentle into that good night.