Here’s mud in your eye!
Monday is St. Patrick’s Day and a lot of people will be celebrating this weekend. However, besides watching The Quiet Man, which I blogged about here, I am not a great one for celebrating the feast day of old St. Patrick.
I must admit that I do have some Irish blood. My Irish ancestors–the Carnahans–hailed from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Our great-great-great-great-grandfather, David Carnahan came to the U.S. in the mid-18th century, fought in the American Revolution and settled in Alleghany County, Pennsylvania. The Carnahans were staunch Presbyterians. One of our cousins, James Carnahan (below), a Presbyterian minister, became the President of Princeton University where he served from 1823 to 1854 (longer than any other President).
His cousin James was married to my namesake Catherine Rand in 1857 by the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire and had seven children in Ravenna, Ohio. They, of course, were brought up as Episcopalians.
My most favorite Irish thing is the Cuala Press which was established by Elizabeth Yeats, sister of William Butler Yeats and Jack Yeats, in 1908. It played an important part in the “Celtic Revival” in the early 20th century.
I have a framed print in my office and one at home that I bought in the Trinity College Bookstore in Dublin. I do love these woodcuts!
The real things go up for auction from time to time and are worth a pretty penny. If I had money to spare, I would have my own collection! Don’t you just love them?
Of course, no discussion of favorite Irish things would be complete without mention of Errol Flynn. Although not strictly speaking Irish–he was born in Tasmania of Australian parents of English, Scottish and Irish descent and an Anglican–we can enjoy his movies on St. Patrick’s Day if we want to. And thanks to a good friend who sent me this DVD, I will be watching this classic Flynn opus:
I also plan to watch The Sea Hawk (1940) which I DVR’d on TCM last week.
It is a fun movie directed by the great Michael Curtiz. Unfortunately Olivia de Haviland is nowhere in sight. But it does have Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth I, and if you ask me, she is 10 times better than Bette Davis as the Virgin Queen.
As for food, nothing Irish comes to mind. When we were growing up our mother would make corned beef and cabbage and boiled potatoes on March 17, mostly because she just liked them. I was never a fan of this meal. I preferred the corned beef hash she made the next day.
What is your favorite Irish thing?
Well, while you’re thinking about that, I’ll wrap this up with the words of Pat Cohan: “Ah, what a day for Innisfree! On a day like this, I can say only one thing – Gentlemen, the drinks are on the house!”
Sláinte to all Carnahans!