Thursday, March 17, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day Remembered - Janet Lane Walters






Don't get me wrong, I have Irish blood in my heritage. One of my ancestors came from a small town in northern Ireland. I may spell this wrong but the town was Bellinahinch, County Down Ireland. Many years ago, a friend and I earned enough money doing horoscopes to buy our plane tickets to visit Ireland. Her step-mother lived there and her father was buried in a small church yard, To tell you how long ago this was, we flew Freddie Laker to England, took a train through Wales and then a ferry boat across the channel to Ireland. Things I remember most about my trip was the shades of green, a trip to the Devil's Crosswalk with a bus load of Irish teens.

Back to my visit to the town where Mariah Jane, my ancestor left. The town was very hilly. Unfortunately on the day we arrived the town records office was closed so I was unable to find any distant relatives. But outside the town in the hills beyond, we were treated to a farmer showing off his sheepdog's skills. We had stopped beside the road to eat our lunch when we saw the dog, the shepherd and a flock of sheep. We stood entranced by the way the dog worked.

So you can see I'm Irish but I'm orange rather than green. This leads to a much earlier memory. After finishing my three year nursing program, I enrolled in Duquesne University's bachelor's program for nursing. Saith patrick's Day was celebrated there but being someone who walked her own path, I decided on St. Patrick's day to wear my orange jumper. While this could have brought disaster to me I persisted. My only class that day was an English one. Half of the men in the class were on the basketball team. They laughed and escorted me on break to the cafeteria for coffee. That is my memory of the most interesting St. Psatrick's Day of my life.

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