Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!

The nice thing about living in this country is that at any given time an ethnic culture is being celebrated somewhere. Like many Americans, I can celebrate several—Scandinavian, English, and Irish. On March 17th, we will again celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not an expert on the Celtic culture. What I know is what I grew up with—The Quiet Man with Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne and Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney. When I moved to the Mohawk Valley, I learned the important role that the Irish played in building the Erie Canal. An interesting book on that subject is How the Irish Built the Erie by Harvey Chalmers, available for loan at the library. Later on, Frank McCourt again visited the Irish in America with his memoirs Angela’s Ashes, Tis, and Teacher Man.
In Celtic Art in Cross Stitch, author Barbara Hammett combines over 75 beautiful designs with a rich history of Celtic art. This style developed over centuries and reflects the varied influences from Mediterranean to Viking that the Celts came into contact with throughout their history. As a result of St. Patrick’s mission to Ireland in the fifth century, the country became a center of learning and scholarship. Monks decorated the four gospel books and carried this Book of Kells across Europe. Today, the Celtic style with its combination of abstract painting and satisfying shapes keeps it a perennial favorite all the world over.
A new offering, Apologize, apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly is available in book or unabridged compact disc. It tells the story of a wealthy Irish family living on Martha’s Vineyard. While I do not have the gift of hyper-articulate conversation so often attributed to the Irish and the characters in this coming of age novel, I can assure you that it is everything the book cover says and more!
Those interested in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, may stop by the library on March 17th for some Irish Soda Bread accompanied by a copy of my mother’s recipe.
Finally, we hope you will join us on Tuesday, March 23, from 1:30 to 2:30, as Beverly Schilling, Senior Consumer Fraud Representative from the Office of the Attorney General presents a Consumer Protection Forum intended to inform citizens about their rights as consumers and who to call when those rights have been violated. Schilling will also discuss scams to avoid and what to do if you fall victim. No registration is required for this free event that is open to any interested individual.

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