How Do You Celebrate St. Pat’s?

Editor’s Corner

How do you celebrate? I start out with my family, and my extended loving family, the West Side Irish American Club, with the annual mass at St. Colman’s, whose gorgeous marble, and design, commissioned to Irish men in Dublin, I appreciate more and more each year; I may be daydreaming, but ghosts seep out of the marble for me. Then it is off to this year’s 149th Annual Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I walk with the Sheriff’s Dept. at the front of the parade, then circle around and march with the WSIA family, again.

I absolutely love it. The massive crowds are awesome to see, a culture like no other, one that invites all cultures to join us as we celebrate roots, family, and a passionate heritage that touches every curve and corner of the globe, through our own hard work, perseverance, and passion for freedom, in so many forms.

After walking the parade, we walk to a local hotel, and eat, drink and make merry, as outside our walls, downtown clears out. A few other parties and must go to appearances fill out the day, until we all reassemble at the Folks, for dinner, stories and as many cups of tea as your nerves can handle.

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish is my personal social media tag line and has been my credo for as long as I can remember; it is a life urgency instilled by my father, to make a difference as you trade each day of your life, for something; let it be worthwhile. You can find that same credo throughout the Irish community; it translates to any culture. Be aware, be awed and be grateful.

There is much to do this month; of course musical and event lists and labels run rampant in this issue. Deliberate, and then deliberately, pick your passion; pick your company, and Live More Life, as the Irish are wont to do.

We would love to hear and share how you celebrate – send me a note (jobrien@ianohio.com) or post on our FB page. Pics are welcome, as long as you own them. Follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages listed below and Opt-in to our Cleveland Irish Fest (clevelandirish.org) and Ohio Irish American News (ianohio.com) occasionally and respectfully sent and guarded email list, and win prizes like fest tickets, an annual OhIAN subscription, books or CD’s. We will run favorites in our April issue; share your memories, share your milestones, share all that being Irish, means to you.

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Go dtí an mhí seo chugainn, slán a fhágáil
(Until next month, goodbye)
John

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“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
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Little Boxes, Little Boxes …

Little Boxes, little boxes,
and their all made out of ticky tacky
and their all in my closet
and they all need a good home

Won’t you grab my new book; won’t you share with your friends, and their friends too (please, they NEED a good home):

The Lyrics of Irish Freedom by John O’Brien Jr.​
A great book to frame the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising (Ireland’s American Revolution) with commemorations now starting across the Irish Diaspora.

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#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish

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Get yours at songsandstories.net; I’d be honored to sign it for you.
John

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

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

 

Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary too!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I’d also like to add, Happy Anniversary – to all our Ohio Irish American News writers, advertisers, distributors and supporters – we are 9 years old; we are very blessed to know you, and to have your active support. We continue to learn, to grow and to get better, thanks to your feedback.

 

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As always, there is much going on in and around Ohio. Every month ads and the Out & About Ohio section are filled with what’s to come; so save the date, share the wealth and plan accordingly to not miss the best the Irish have to offer each other, and our friends.

 

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It gives us great joy to share the wealth of our heritage, past present and to come. Seeding others bears so much fruit; just as it has for generations of ground breakers, immigrants, sponsors and saviors, who then sent those proceeds back and forward, to ease the road for the next one on it. We aim to have the same impact. In 2015, our budget for helping those in need was $10,000; we blew by that in June, and will end up being nearly double it for the year. To whom much is given …

 

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Irish Network Cleveland, the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, has launched; Music Box Cleveland Sundays are back, The Cleveland International Film Festival; Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee, and RISE Foundation events are fast approaching; Primary elections are March 15th, with many Judicial races impacting our communities; The 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising is fast approaching; Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival and many more events are this month, next, or deep into planning. I know they would welcome your support, and your help; they are asking, if you are looking for that chance to make a difference, and have fun.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites: 

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

It is Christmas …

It is Christmas Day … One of my sisters birthday is today.  She is my Irish twin, born less than a year apart.  We don’t talk as often as I’d like, but I love her with all my heart.  We always celebrate her birthday Christmas Eve and her husband makes this amazing Chicken Cordon Blue. I could eat just that, leave all the other stuff behind, and be one very happy man.  Family comes in, from where ever they can. We eat, have a great cuppa or three and exchange gifts.  Seeing the kids open their gifts, their joy and excitement, is a highlight for me. I am a fan of tradition, knowing where we come from matters.

• ˚ •˛•˚ * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
• ˚Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas!★ 。* • ˚。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚


Cherish the Mystery
by John O’Brien, Jr.

Ghosts of Christmas past, go floating through my brain

I remember cold and snow, yet remember not much pain
Joyful childhood, waking up Christmas morn’

Delivering the paper, before the wrapping could be shorn

The house all dark but the tree lights still lit.

Not a sound in the sharp air, as I pull on my mitts

Bag over my shoulder, paper in my hands

Had to be in the door, not today’s “wherever it lands”

Quiet, so quiet, but this one morn I’m not afraid

I think not of dark driveways or who hasn’t paid

The stillness so peaceful, I try not to make a sound

I’m all alone in the world, as six a.m. comes around.

Up the long driveways and then back down them again,

Can’t jump the snow high on the grass, stuck like a pig in a pen

Broom hockey shoes keep me from falling, on my ass, in the snow

No matter how I hurried, I went much too slow

Frozen and often wet, I’d turn the corner for home

My mind is on presents, and Christmas past poems

The last paper’s delivered, each door tightly closed

My Irish cheeks look like Santa, the weather has rosed

I trudge up the hill and see my dad at the door

My mind sees those less blessed, many reasons for the poor

The houses in the neighborhood with no presents or a tree

My world’s not so cold, I’m starting to see.

Into the house I go, my bag hung on the stairs

One sister wakes up the others, who come down as a pair

Warm clothes, thick socks, and hot chocolate whipped to a foam

Rush through breakfast quickly, eyes to wonder and to roam.

My stocking off the fireplace, filled with fun little gifts

Then under the trees too sharp needles, the attention snaps and shifts

Clothes and cool games, wall holders for my collection

We each had our spot, our haul’s own little section

And when it’s all over, put the wrapping in the bag

Mom always says: “for thank you’s keep the tag”

Tho’ my sister is all tired, as my mother did warn her

I lean back against the wall, in my section in the corner

I think of the morning, from high chaos to early still

Of the food and the company, that this day will fill

The smell of the turkey, reaches me as I stretch out

Such wonderful memories are without a doubt

The reason I still cherish Christmas, and the still of the morn

Jesus works in mysterious ways, since the very night he was born.

Christmas dunk

***

Please share your story with me; thank you for allowing me to share mine with you. “Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:
#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites:

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

It is 1 Day Until Christmas …

It is 1 Day until Christmas ~ There can be only One.  One day, one Best friend, one Highlander, one quarterback, one God, in life, and of life. I wrote yesterday about Situational Awareness – living in the moment, not just in our own small worlds, but the greater world too, both for safety, and for satisfaction, of a life well lived. Being able to not only smell the roses, but be able to also see how it affects you, and others as well.

Best Friend

Highlander

One Day

One God

One QB

It is easier than ever to spread ourselves thin – the more technologically advanced we are, the busier we are – and the more easily distracted, unfocused, missing the forest for the trees we are, because we have been conditioned to multi-task: tell everyone, tell everyone in 140 characters or less, and move … to the next experience, satisfy the next urge, NOW.

I come from a deep and ingrained tradition of storytelling.  Today, the oral tradition is more readily available than ever.  Only now, it is electric!  It’s gone from the word, to the web. Name the poem, story or song, and you can often find it on the internet.  This is an amazing this for our culture, for every culture, and brings us full circle, because we can now see more than just our viewpoint, our own little world.

There are three sides to every story – your side, my side, and the truth. I have been writing a lot about the similarities of different people. I do a monologue presentation called “At Each End of the Rifle”. The presentation is poems, verse and lyrics that illustrates how, from throughout mankind’s history, people with remarkably similar hurts, angers, struggles, joys and goals, have insisted on killing each other.

With the advent of the internet and sharing, we can now hear more than one side of the story; we can see snap or a struggle from a perspective not often available to us, and we can make our own decision, based upon a person, and their character, not their religion, or the place they were born, whether born in Boston, in Belfast or in Bethlehem.

Shake the Bones
by John O’Brien, Jr.

Christmas smells and sounds drift through the house.
The sun is shining brightly.  There is no snow
but the cold and wind shake the bones, the panes
shudder and stress; sticks against the racing clouds.
On the beautiful blue canvas of the half clear sky.
cinnamon and pine and the green, red and gold
brightly tantalize the nose and the eyes.

Ave Maria, O Holy Night. Tynan in my ears,
praise and wonder in my mind.
Regret not the confusion, the chaos and the urgency
Of preparation. Of Thanksgiving. Of Christmas.
What gathers people, crafts hugs, kisses, handshakes, peace.
That which draws people together across miles, continents and anger,
is worth celebrating itself, let alone for the miracle that gave birth
to more than a child.

Contact, in cards and letters and pictures sent, seeing old friends
reunions, the healing power of hugs,
the healing power of God.

And they say we don’t see God at work in our world today.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know”:

#LiveMoreLifeBeMoreIrish
O’Bent Enterprises includes:

Ohio Irish American News
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
Songs & Stories, my author web and SM sites:

www.songsandstories.new
www.ianohio.com
www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr
www.twitter.com/365Iris
www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews
www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish
www.linkedin.com/in/jobjr/
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed