Tuesday, March 17, 2009
ST. PATRICK'S DAY
I recall from my childhood an old clipping my mother showed me, that was beyond merely yellowed. It looked almost like it should have been in a jar in a desert cave, but it wasn't quite that old. It was from the local newspaper in, if dim memory serves, South Tettegouche, New Brunswick, and was the death notice of one of the area's long-time residents, my great-grandfather. The article mentioned that he had been born in Baltinglass, County Wicklow, and came to Canada as a young man. I wish I knew the years that spanned his life. All I know is that one of his sons, my grandfather, was born in 1875. As the second eldest, my grandfather didn't inherit the farm, and ended up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, working as a "barn boss" in a lumber camp. As I recall, there was even a photo accompanying the obit. It put a face to the scrap of oral history of my family: Mother's side - English, Scottish, and Irish; Father's side - French Canadian. I have no idea what became of that clipping, but I still observe this day every year as someone who is at least a small bit connected by blood.
Here's a video from YouTube, with scenes of Ireland and art work, set to the haunting music of Enya. At nine minutes, it's a little longer than I would normally post, but I thought it was really lovely. So listen to as much of it as you have time or inclination for. And have a happy St. Patrick's Day to all who are Irish by blood forever, or Irish by choice for the day!
Video by YT member ryerin
Book cover photo and info at