With St. Patrick's Day coming, you've probably begun searching your wardrobe for something green. So has To the Best of Our Knowledge, and in this hour we've got stories about growing up Irish — from the old country to the tenements of New York, from the days of anti-Irish prejudice to the darkest days of the troubles.
Dennis Smith's first memoir, "Report from Engine Co. 82" was a smash. His new one's called "A Song for Mary: An Irish-American Memory." Smith tells Jim Fleming about growing up "tenement poor" on New York's East Side where his mother cleaned houses for the rich, and recounts some of his experience of Catholic education.SEGMENT 2:
John Gleeson, Director of Milwaukee Irish Arts, talks about the traditional setting for stories in Ireland, then tells us "a true story!" about a priest and his young housekeeper. Also, Irish novelist Patrick McCabe ("The Butcher Boy" and now, "Breakfast on Pluto") tells Steve Paulson about the flamboyant central character of his new book; some of the stock figures of Irish fiction; and the nightmare of living through the days when IRA terror bombing was at its worst.SEGMENT 3:
Nuala O'Faolain has been a maid and a TV producer, and is now a columnist for the Irish Times. She tells Steve Paulson what it was like to grow up the child of alcoholics, and that it took her a lifetime to learn to trust. Her memoir is called "Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman." Also, Ciaran Carson, a poet, flute player and the author of "Last Night's Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music," says you can't understand Irish music without knowing something about Irish pub life. And so he tells Jim Fleming all about it.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-03-14-A.
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