Blowin’ In: Threshold: A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Blowin’ In: Threshold
By Susan Mangan

“Though there was nothing in particular about the knocker on the door . . .
Scrooge saw in the knocker, not a knocker, but Marley’s face.”
(“A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens)

Through the power of pen and vision, nineteenth-century author Charles Dickens sought to awaken the population as to the plight of the forgotten child and the poor. In his famous tale, “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge, a miserly old businessman, is unwittingly forced to examine his existence. He is given the chance to change the course of his life through a reckoning that occurs in a single night, a reckoning that thrusts Scrooge forward onto a path of benevolence.

The first spirit to confront Scrooge is his “seven-years dead” business partner, Jacob Marley, who manifests upon the doorknocker which leads into Scrooge’s home. The door is a metaphor for change. It can open or close. It is a portal that can lead to a new life, or a barrier that impedes our happiness when we choose to barricade ourselves against a wall of fear. Fortunately for Scrooge, with the help of three apparitions, he found a way past his fear and into the light. Change is possible, if we choose the correct path and step over the threshold of a promising door.

Throughout my travels to Ireland, England, and Scotland, I have had the opportunity to visit with people from all generations and walks of life. I come by this penchant for conversation naturally. My grandmother Mim, a world traveler, would seize upon the kindness of unsuspecting strangers and sit with them for long periods of time engaging in “tour talk,” wherein she would discuss her favorite sites in the given city, village, or hamlet. Granted, Mim did capitalize on her status as a cute little old woman, but strangers were captivated by the breadth of her knowledge and experience.

Mim was always one who embraced opportunity and enjoyed life’s more subtle gifts. During the opening strains of a musical piece, whether by Bach, Beethoven, or Woody Guthrie, Mim would gently close her wrinkled eyelids and smile, tapping out the remembered tune upon her knee. After this brief interlude, she would reopen her eyes, refreshed and thoroughly engaged in the moment. This is not to say that Mim didn’t have fire lighting her spirit. The poor soul that would choose to discuss politics or the state of literacy in our world was often stunned into silence. Mim could preach like a statesman. With intelligence, confidence, and wit, Mim never accepted the status quo.

It is with these genes that I choose to look at my world, even if I only have time to look out my own front door.

This past autumn, my youngest son and I were given the opportunity to travel to Bognor Regis, England. He was to compete in the British National Championships of Irish Dancing. Newly qualified to dance at the World’s Irish Dancing Championships in London during the spring of 2014, we thought it would be a good way for him to experience the challenge of travel and overseas competition.

At first, the journey seemed daunting. Nevertheless, like the wind that continually blows in the tides of change, I embraced the opportunity for both of us, ensuring him that the dancing would be nothing compared to the travel. As we stood in the melee of London’s Underground, my son looked at me with eyes wide and expectant, “Boy Mom, you were right.”

I may not hear those words again until he is a grown man, but for the moment, we stood, gathering our bearings, watching the train doors open and close. Silently, we both wondered where all the Londoners were going and what adventures lie in wait for us.

Bognor Regis is a quaint English coastal town. Each day, my son and I would select a spot to have a bite of lunch and a bit of conversation. Much like my grandmother, I have a knack for finding curious places that specialize in tasty food and interesting people.

Wind chapped and chilled from our walk along the sea, my son and I stopped in a little pub that featured wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and homemade soup. Our server was a lovely English girl. Blonde-haired and rosy-cheeked, she typified an English rose. Smitten with my son’s ten-year-old charm, she lingered at our table for a while. I complimented her on the beauty of her town.

She looked at me quizzically and asked, “You think?” I replied, “Of course, I have always wanted to live on the sea.” In her English country accent she agreed, “I guess we don’t always appreciate that’s wha’ under our nose.” I nodded my head and thought about the truth in those words.

During our last night in Bognor Regis, darkness fell and a sharp, faceless wind blew off the sea. The sky lay black as squid ink and our path was lit only by the light of a full harvest moon. A journey that took us a mere twenty minutes by daylight stretched into what seemed like hours. With relief, my son and I finally made our way to our establishment of the day, aptly named “The Navigator.”

After getting settled, my son ordered a double ginger-ale, and I a locally crafted lager. It was quite obvious to the locals enjoying their Sunday dinner that we travelers came from afar. Older gentlemen in tweed jackets balanced curved pipes onto their tobacco- stained lips and wished one another, “a jolly good meal.” Their wives, proper English ladies, in cardigan sweaters and plaid woolen skirts, smiled and sipped dainty portions of port in bulbous brandy snifters.

As my son and I indulged in steaming fish pie and freshly cut chips, a most curious looking man caught my attention. From our very entrance, he watched us. Most people would be a bit put off by this lanky older man wearing a bedraggled Fair Isle sweater and sporting a grey beard as long as Moses’.

My grandmother’s own girl, I struck up a conversation with this man as I paid my bill at the bar. He told me he was a lazy musician who loved to read, but his love of jazz and letters never amounted to much. He asked about my whereabouts and declared that he had relations in Ohio. Again, I complimented him on the beauty of his village. Much like the barmaid by the beach, he looked at me with bulging eyes and queried, “Ya’ think?”

Holding the door for us as we left, the man wished us an elaborate blessing that involved a host of angels to guide us home and a final “Godspeed.” The door may have closed on the gentle folk in The Navigator, but for my son and I, our journey was just beginning.

*Susan holds a Master’s Degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace University. She may be contacted at suemangan@yahoo.com

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What’s Going on this weekend, from your Ohio Irish American News

What’s Going on this weekend, from your Ohio Irish American News

Friday: Flanagan’s Wake – ClevelandPlayhouseSquareVelvet ShakeThe Hooley House – Brooklyn, SamBecketExhibitIrish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati, Kristine JacksonThe Harp, JoeRolin@FlatIron, TopHatBlack@ West Park Station, BarFlysFlannery’s Pub, MadMacs@IrishAmericanClubEastSide, The High Strung Irish Folk Band Wadsworth, OhioSully’s Irish Pub, AbbeyNormalThe Hooley House, BrendanBurtBandJohn Mullarkey’s

Sat: Irish American Club East Side, Inc 36th Anniversary Dance, Faction@HooleyHouseBrklyn, JoeRolin@TheHarp, BoysfromCoHellPj McIntyre’s, DJFocus@WPStation, Austin Walkin’ Cane@Flannery’s, IslandDoctor@Sullys, CharlieintheBox@HooleyHouseMentor, BridalShow@WestSideIrishAmericanClub, Mossy MoranMullarkey’s Irish Pub, Flanagan’sWake@PlayhouseSquare.

Add Yours! If you don’t send em, we can’t print em

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St. Colman’s Update: A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

St. Colman Update
By Dan Coughlin

When Father Bob Begin struck a deal with Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon that allowed him to remain for one more year as pastor of St. Colman Parish, there was no pouting or grieving.

“It’s good,” Father Begin said while tidying up the altar one recent Sunday after the 11 o’clock mass. “When the Bishop said we had a whole year of transition, we couldn’t ask for anything more. We won’t lose momentum. We’ll continue our strategic plan.”

Fr. Begin seems to have accepted an ambiguous new role and his St. Colman’s parishioners have recovered from the shock of losing their long time pastor. They have resolved to throw more coal in the boiler. It’s full steam ahead at the 133-year-old parish on West 65th Street, between Madison and Lorain Avenues.

St Colman update Fr Jim ODonnell Fr Bob Begin

“The morale here is good,” said Eileen Kelly, who for eighteen years has been the administrator of the most wide-ranging outreach program in the diocese. “The congregation is strong. They have a lot of ownership in the place. They’re ready for the change. They don’t want it, but they accept it. It’s not any one priest’s church. It’s their church and it’s their mission.”
Fr. Begin has nine more months to mentor two young African priests in the ways of running an American parish — and not a typical American parish.

“They’re young and they’re dedicated to a mission,” Fr. Begin said.
At St. Colman’s they talk a lot about “mission.” It seems that St. Colman’s always was a missionary parish. In the beginning, in the 1880s and into the 20th century, it was a refuge for Irish immigrants. It was a time when every ethnic group had its own parish. Even today, an easy walk from St. Colman’s are St. Stephen’s, an old German parish on West 54th Street, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an Italian parish on Detroit Avenue at West 70th Street.

St. Colman’s lately has become a refuge for immigrants from many African nations, which is why Bishop Lennon chose to replace Fr. Begin with two young African priests, both members of the Apostles of Jesus.
“It takes two to replace me,” Fr. Begin chuckles, enjoying his little joke.

The new pastor is Father Caroli Shao, from Tanzania. His assistant is Father Ben Koka, from Uganda. They will also take over St. Stephen’s, replacing the retiring Fr. Mike Franz.

Fr. Begin stresses that the year of transition is critical because the new young priests have never been pastors anywhere before, and they know no one here in Cleveland. They have no social or business connections, which are critical to running St. Colman’s, because the parish is an anchor of the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood and the center of many people’s lives.

Eileen Kelly and her staff, however, will continue to run an operation that feeds, houses and clothes hundreds of people every month. In addition, myriad other activities keep St. Colman’s buzzing.

“One day we had a job fair going on. There was a wedding and the bride was running around. We were putting on a neighborhood meal and a computer class was going on,” said Kelly. “That was one day, but it was every day.”

Into this maelstrom the two young priests from Africa are stepping. If nothing else, they have the right attitude. They are committed to the mission.
“In Africa they work with the poorest of the poor,” Fr. Begin says. “Out of their salaries here in this country, each priest supports three priests back in Africa.”

The one place they feel comfortable, however, is the altar. Their African accents are thick but if you pay attention you can follow the prayers of the Mass. Not so much their homilies. Fr. Begin dismisses the language barrier.

“What sermon ever changed your life?” Fr. Begin says.
Actually, African immigrants make up a small percentage of the 1,500 households and 2,781 registered parishioners. There are many more Hispanics.

There also are the Irish. They still return from the suburbs on Sundays and for weddings and funerals. And one interesting Irishman moved back to Cleveland from Texas and moved into the St. Colman’s neighborhood: Dan McGraw, a magazine writer and author who grew up in Euclid. He registered at St. Colman’s and now teaches a computer course as part of the parish’s outreach program.
For the time being, these people are essential to keeping St. Colman’s alive.

“We need their help for the next ten to fifteen years,” Fr. Bob says. “After that the neighborhood will be able to support it.”
The expectation is that the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood will experience a continued renaissance. Toward that purpose, Fr. Bob is creating what he calls a Sustaining Membership Association of families and individuals who are connected for many reasons. For example, they trace their sacramental and family roots to St. Colman’s but are members of other parishes now. Others want the architectural wonder to remain a Catholic beacon of hope to the city. Some will want to help continue the mission to the neighborhood and some want to express tangible gratitude for their families received from St. Colman’s in the past. Annual or monthly pledges will keep St. Colman’s thriving for years.

To refresh everyone’s memory, when Fr. Begin turned 75 last year, he received his marching orders. He was to march into the sunset. That’s the policy in the Cleveland diocese. Priestly retirement age is 75. It’s not a sacrosanct rule. In most cases when priests are still healthy, strong and willing, they are permitted to remain at their posts. There are many examples.

Fr. Begin expected to be granted an extension. After all, he was largely responsible for bringing St. Colman’s back from the dead. Four years ago St. Colman’s was on Bishop Lennon’s list to be closed. Fr. Begin dug in his heels and fought back. The Bishop relented and St. Colman’s remained open, albeit on “probation.” He presented a list of demands, such as increasing attendance at Mass and in the collection basket, expanding outreach programs for the poor, hungry and homeless. All that was accomplished.

He will turn 76 this year and he will need a home. He says he doesn’t know where he will live. He has an idea, however, of what he will do. He has a law degree and is currently an active lawyer with immigration law expertise. Already he provides legal services for parishioners, especially immigrants who need birth certificates.
Stop down at St. Colman’s; join the family, whether from the neighborhood or not. There’s not a better cause, and Sure, aren’t we all neighbors anyway?

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Chicago, Chicago, Comin’ to see you …

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Chicago, Chicago .. An Irish Literary Evening … with … ME!
Monday, February 10th 7:00p.m.
at McNally’s Irish Pub
Dinner, Reading, wit and wisdom.
Hope you will join us, hope you will share so others will join us too.

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The Emigrant Flame: A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Our Cover: The Emigrant Flame

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The Emigrant Flame is on the quayside in the picturesque and traditional Irish town of New Ross, Co. Wexford. Located in the south east of Ireland, The Emigrant Flame sits alongside the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, which has been recounting the Irish Famine Emigrant story since it first opened in 2001. The Emigrant Flame was unveiled in June 2013, during the JFK50 celebrations. The Emigrant Flame is a symbol of hope and inspiration for all Irish emigrants and diaspora around the world. The story behind The Emigrant Flame is also an inspiring one.

On June 18th 2013, with warm rain descending, a gathering formed at the graveside of President John F Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery, Virginia. They took a light from the eternal flame at President Kennedy’s graveside and brought it to New Ross as a Gathering Torch to light the Emigrant Flame. The journey was to fulfil, at least symbolically, President Kennedy’s promise “to return to Ireland in the springtime”.

The occasion was solemn, with a sombre hush amongst the gathered crowd. A colour party from the Irish Army was matched by a similar presence from the US Defence Forces and a lone piper played a lament on the hillside. The Irish National Anthem was sung by Michael Londra. Anthony Kearns gave a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The Gathering Flame arrived in Dublin Airport and was transferred to the Irish Navy Vessel MV Orla, for transport by sea to New Ross. Michael Flatley narrated the journey of the flame along the quayside and the American Spiritual Ensemble from Kentucky sang.

Caroline Kennedy and Jean Kennedy Smith, accompanied by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, lit the Emigrant Flame from the three torches presented by Special Olympic athletes. Judy Collins sang Amazing Grace, the Air Corp performed a flyover and Jack Schlossberg, the grandson of President Kennedy, made his maiden speech on the same quayside where his grandfather had spoken to the New Ross crowd 50 years before.

The Emigrant Flame gives our nation an iconic symbol to serve as a permanent reminder to all our diaspora around the world that Ireland remembers and values them while we wait to welcome them home.

Em Flame Vert

Over one quarter of Irish households have seen a close family member emigrate in the past two years, according to a survey commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland earlier this year. Half of those aged between 18 and 24 have considered emigrating; a further four out of ten adults aged between 25 and 34 have also considered leaving the country. In the past four years, over 300,000 people have emigrated from Ireland; 40% were aged between 15 and 24. Emigration is not just affecting Ireland’s youth as more than a quarter of those aged between 35 and 54 have also considered moving abroad.

Mary French, Brand & Marketing Manager for the JFK Trust commented, “Our aim is to spread the message of The Emigrant Flame around the world so that all of our diaspora and indeed anyone who feels a connection with Ireland can take inspiration from this symbol of hope. Emigration once again affects every family in our society and The Emigrant Flame will give people a place to connect and be reunited, be it online or in person. The essential point is that no one affected by emigration should feel isolated or disconnected from the Irish community.”

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The JFK Trust was formed in 1988 to commemorate the historic legacy of President John F Kennedy by involving itself in projects that would enrich the lives of the people of his ancestral home area of New Ross and its environs. 25 years later much has been achieved. The articles of association of the JFK Trust are broad in their remit, and pay particular reference to the cultural and environmental development of the town of New Ross and its environs.

Em Flame Horiz

For more information contact Mary French, Marketing and Brand Manager at the JFK Trust, 35 South Street, New Ross. Telephone 087 6632251. Email maryfrench@dunbrody.com

www.facebook.com/theemigrantflame Twitter: @emigrantflame

A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

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The Green Season is Coming: Are You Ready?

The Green Season is nearly upon us. The March issue, our largest of the year, is now under construction. The Ohio Irish American News is a great targeted format to promote your St. Patrick’s season event(s), offer congratulations to club or organization honorees in your community and to show your support for the Irish community on this very significant and meaningful day for the Irish around the world. We hope you will join us in this celebration.

For more information, please contact John O’Brien at
jobrien@ianohio.com or at 216.647.1144.

We can design an advertising package perfectly suited to your needs.

3.8 x 4
or 1.85 x 8
$150 B & W
$175 Color

3.8 x 5 or 1.85 x 10
$175 B & W
$200 Color

¼ Page 5.8 x 4
$250 B & W
$300 Color

½ page 4.8 x 10.125
$400 B & W
$550 Color

¼ Page & ½ Page ad event info is also featured in Out & About Ohio column, www.ianohio.com, www.facebook.com/ohioirishamericannews, www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish and http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

Deadlines are Camera Ready ad by noon on the 15th of February, but this is a huge issue, please send ad reservation early.

We hope you will join us in celebrating the Irish in America.

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Inner View of Press and Policy Makers making a difference in our community; A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Inner View of Press and Policy Makers making a difference in our community

Inner View: Denise Dufala

Elizabeth Gilmore Dufala and her daughter, Denise Dufala
Elizabeth Gilmore Dufala and her daughter, Denise Dufala

An Emmy Award winning journalist, anchor and family woman, North Olmsted born and raised Denise Dufala thrives on her Irish roots, community causes that touch her heart and the rebirth of Cleveland. She has sung all over Cleveland, at Irish and non-Irish church and sports events alike.  Her CD, “The Age of Miracles”  highlights her roots, and her gorgeous voice.

Denise is the baby of six (four boys and two girls). “I grew up with the cousins, doing family things together.  I got more involved in my Irish roots when I got older, started hanging out and connected with Irish friends my age. My mom always took me out of school for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  And we always rode the Rapid downtown. After the parade, we got a treat at Hough Bakery.

Denise loves family time.  Her husband and son, plus a large, close-knit and close by family keep her in tune, and in stitches.

Catherine Scanlon, Denise’s grandmother, is from The Church Road, in Achill Island – she left Achill at nine years old, a lace maker, to find work in Scotland.  That is not a misprint.

Later, she met David Gilmore, in Glasgow.  Catherine worked in a munitions plant as well.

In 1923 David came to the U.S. and got a job as a plumber. After six months, he sent for Catherine and James, six months old. David came to Cleveland, to Herman Avenue in St. Colman’s Parish, where they had family, Catherine’s cousins.

The Plumbers had no Union, so he helped found Local 55.  Union involvement is a family tradition.

Denise’s mom, Elizabeth (Gilmore) Dufala, was born later, here in the States.  She recalled, “Everyone in the neighborhood was poor. People would come to our house, Dad played piano by ear – they’d all sing.  We had no money, made scones and bread for everyone. It is where we gathered.

“We were surrounded by the Irish; all my relatives lived around there.  The Irish would go there (immigrate to the area), because the Irish were from there, we supported each other.”

Denise continued, “Being in the Irish community gives me a sense of belonging, because the Irish roots are so far reaching; everyone is related.   We are all American first. It is important to hang on to the traditions; it is something so much bigger than you.

“I remember the first time I went to Ireland.  I found a tombstone of my family.  What an amazing feeling, you’re on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, 3,000 miles away from home, and you feel like roots are sprouting up thru your feet.

“Being Irish is part of who I am, it is in my blood.  I still have contact with everyone there, friends and family.  I want my son to see it; I want my relatives out there to know him.”

Northeast Ohioans know Denise.  More than just words, for more than twenty-five  years Denise has been reporting on news, shining light on great organizations and actively giving of her time to organizations that she cares deeply about. Her roots run deep, and her commitments strong.

“It has been a great experience,” she said. “I’ve worked for a lot of great people here.  Stories I‘ve covered that stick with me are when the Pope went to St. Louis; when I went to NY at the start of 9-11, it was an amazing surreal experience, people were getting out of there, and I’m going into harms way.  At that point, we didn’t know if more was coming.  I’ll never forget seeing people coming out of the city with soot all over them.

“I wouldn’t change anything. There have been a lot of ups and downs; it makes you stronger. You ride the wave.”

After working in Columbus, Denise started as a Reporter Trainee at Fox 8 News in Cleveland in 1986. She has a B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University.

“It was a union shop then, so a trainee so wouldn’t take the place of union position.  Kelly O’Donnell, Wayne Dawson, it worked out for a lot of us that followed that path. In 1994, I joined staff of a new station 19 Action News, and went on air when in launched in 1995.

“I was doing the 6:00 p.m. News, but not 11 at Fox8.  19 lost its Fox affiliate. CBS was looking for a Cleveland affiliate but needed to start a news division.  My contract was up right at that time.  I was worth more to a station that needed me more.

“While I was at Fox8, I got a call from Bill Shiel, who was at Channel 5 at that time.  He couldn’t get to a benefit for Make-A-Wish, and asked if I could go. It was at what is now the Renaissance. I had a wonderful time.  Soon after, Katie Dolesh called, they had a Board position open and she asked if I was interested.  It is six years on, three off, so I did it.  I still volunteer. Katie was very special, the baby of six kids, just like me.  All the kids called her ‘The Wish Lady’.

“The Make-A-Wish Gala is their signature event.  It features Wish families, their stories, and is very moving. You meet the children, who have been through hell.  They talk about medical things like we talk about breakfast.  What do I have to complain about? The whole family suffers, that is why Make-A-Wish includes the whole family in on the Wish – because they all suffer. They are so inspiring.”

The rebirth of Cleveland also inspires Denise: “Cleveland is the best kept secret.  People who visit are shocked.  There are so many things going on, all the time.  It is a slower resurrection, of the city, a very affordable city, with businesses opening up.”

The birth of a station, the rebirth of a city, the birth of dreams and Wishes, common themes of having a significant impact, woven in community roots. Hard work and vision comes from an upbringing rooted in, and with an Inner View of Irish love.

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Inner View Erin Kennedy
Erin Kennedy

 

In the salad bowl that is America, many return to their roots, whether seeking a   connection, understanding or simply happening to walk thru an open door. Roots influence every day likes, and loves, whether purpose driven or not. They fall in love with the man or woman, not the colors of their flag. Sometimes love of heritage is as natural as the air we breathe; sometimes love of heritage is sparked.

Erin Kennedy is a Portuguese-Irish-American news anchor and reporter from Texas. She wanted to do something different, wanted to get out of the state, so she went to The University of Notre Dame.  ND sends more students abroad than any major college and Erin was determined to study abroad.  Spain was her destination of choice.

“My roots didn’t influence me growing up, but while in Spain I jumped on a Ryan Air $20 special to Ireland with a friend, to Galway. I want to go back, our roots are in Sligo and Clare.

“My maternal grandfather, Dominick Sharkey, came from Ballerderne, Co. Sligo. My maternal grandmother, Bridget Grady, came from Parish Lara, Co. Cavan. My paternal grandfather, Michael Kennady, sailed from Galway to the U.S. on the ship Elizabeth. Ship records show he spelled his name Kennady, but don’t show where he was from. My maternal grandmother, Catherine MacDonald, was born in Nova Scotia.

“It was fantastic, so friendly; we climbed Croagh Patrick’s, so beautiful, all the great things we hear about from friends and on TV, we saw, sheep in the road etc.  It was just beautiful.”

Erin graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa (Top 5% of her class) from Notre Dame.  She is fluent in Spanish.  She also met her future husband, fellow student, Matt, there.

“My first TV job was in Texas, my folks returned to Rhode Island, where they were from.  I just knew this was what I wanted to do. I love meeting people, learning things.  I took one class at ND, Broadcasting, and created a demo.  I took Lubbock, Texas, market size #147 out of 212. After six months, I was promoted to morning anchor, for two years.  I then applied to Rhode Island, Market 50. I did 5:30 & 10 p.m. news.

“I wanted to end the long term relationship status with Matt. He was and is a musician, and Irish as well. Yes, I broke up the band,” she laughs.  Erin and Matt were married in Rhode Island and are expecting their first child in February.

Driven in focus, Erin and Matt wanted to do something different, so Erin applied to several cities in the Top 20 Market.  She visited Channel 3 after two executives from the station flew out to persuade her to come to Cleveland for an interview.  She was impressed with how welcoming everyone was, how everyone came up and introduced themselves with a,  ‘How can I help’.

‘It was very welcoming, very different. More than anything, I value Channel 3’s commitment to making a difference in the Northeast Ohio community. One of the things about TV, you have to be visible – you have a platform for helping, for good.  I work with the Rape Crisis Center, YWCA, among others, hosting or Emcee of events.

“We can get out in the community, help non-profits. It is something I would be doing anyway, but I come with a camera behind me, and let the community know why it is important.  We have a responsibility to help others.

“Being out in the community, covering the Chardon School shootings, Ariel Castro – gave me skills I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn from and grow.“

Erin will celebrate her two-year anniversary with Channel 3 this month.

“I’ve been here two years and I love getting to know the community, getting to know Cleveland values, people who love to be here – sharing their events.  I am looking forward to getting more involved. I love the neighborhood. Matt had a college friend who played drums, in Cleveland, he felt he had some connection to Cleveland, could play.  His family is in Chicago, from Minneapolis.

“We are excited to start our family.  Cleveland is a good place to live.  On weekends, I totally unplug.  No Cable!  With Matt being a musician, we go to a lot of shows but have a minimalist lifestyle. Cleveland gives us an opportunity to get connected to the community, local farmers, restaurants locally sourced. We make our own detergent, toothpaste, have fun seeing what we can make; it is good for the environment, good for our wallets.

“I do MMA to stay fit, not to fight.  I enjoy Crossfit – it has to be physical and it has to be different My Mom is an English teacher; she gave me great love of books.  Any subject, I tend to have several going at once. I read anything and everything. Historical fiction, I read several at a time. Books are an important part of my life. Best thing is to be on the water, with a book – that’s a perfect day.”

Books and newsmagazines offer an Inner View to people and places a state or a country away.  The Land of Saints and Scholars earned their reputation on education, both harboring it from ill will and destruction, and sharing it with those open to all it has to offer.

Character and charisma combinations have fueled the world. Erin Kennedy’s Portuguese-Irish-American combination fuel a spotlight on the good things in Northeast Ohio, things that really matter, and challenges the bad a reporter meets on the streets, to change.

While talking, Erin mentioned her responsibility to make an impact.  Only two years in, the Inner View shows a family and community oriented reporter of substance, making a difference, glad to call Northeast Ohio home.

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“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/ http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

What’s Going on this Weekend: from your Ohio Irish American News

What’s Going on 2Nite: from your Ohio Irish American News

15th Annual Visitation Home Reunion Dance @StClarence
TopDog@The Hooley House – Brooklyn,
PitchthePeat @The Harp,
Donal OShaughnessy@Flat Iron Cafe,
DJ @Pj McIntyre’s,
Jim & Quinn HH @West Park Station,
Brent Kirby@Flannery’s Pub,
MaryAgnesKennedy@Irish Irish American Club East Side, Inc, DonegalDoggs@Sully’s Irish Pub,
Marys Lane@The Hooley House, MusicinthePub@WestSideIrishAmericanClub,
MoAndrews@John Mullarkey’s,
Flanagan’s Wake – Cleveland PlayhouseSquare

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Saturday:
BreakfastClub@HooleyHouseBrooklyn,
HistoryonTapBookSigning@Irish Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati,
FiorGael@The Harp,
MarysLane@PJ McIntyres Irish Pub,
Kristine Jackson@Flannerys,
CelticComedy@IrishAmericanClubEastSide,
DonalOShaughnessy@SullysIrishPub,
DanMcCoy@Mullarkeys.
Flanagan’s Wake – Cleveland PlayhouseSquare

Add Yours ~ If you don’t send em, we can’t print em.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/ http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/

Contest! See Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly (Celtic Thunder) FREE

Acoustic by Candlelight - Ohio 2014

CONTEST *** CONTEST *** CONTEST ***

The Mighty Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly (Celtic Thunder) are bringing their “Acoustic by Candlelight” show to The Winchester Music Hall in Lakewood/Cleveland on February 3rd 2014.

Here is a bit more detail on the show:
http://www.acousticbycandlelight.com/lakewood-cleveland-oh/

CONTEST Details: The Ohio Irish American News wants to hear your story – what do you love about Irish music, Neil and/or Ryan or even your Irish Heritage?

Best memory and/or pic shared here wins two tickets to the show!
Share with your friends (ask them to like our page too please!).

http://www.acousticbycandlelight.com/
http://www.acousticallyirish.com/
Tour Video http://youtu.be/I_c4eEVU57E

St. Jarlath’s GFC Year End Party

Great night last night as Cleveland St. Jarlath’s wrapped up a very successful 2013 campaign by winning the North American County Board National Championship at the GAA NACB Finals,over Labor Day weekend, held this year in Cleveland. Last night at Plank Road Tavern, they recognized the people, past and present, that made the year so successful. Please tag away, and ask them to friend our page as well. — at Plank Road Tavern.

Check out more pics on our Ohio Irish American News Facebook page:  http://on.fb.me/KenEER