For the past twenty seven or so years, I have lived in the culturally deprived township of Dover, Pennsylvania. Dover is considered to be a rural suburb of the thriving metropolis that we call York, Pennsylvania. York's claim to fame is the home of the Continental Congress and considers itself the "First Capital" of the United States. George Washington supposedly slept here. Abraham Lincoln passed through here. Our property was reportedly part of the trail to Gettysburg, a mere 30 miles from here. York is on the west shore of the mighty Susquehanna River. It is an incredibly beautiful, wide river with arched bridges and mile wide stretches worthy of sailing. This river empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
As a transplant into the community I have taken advantage of numerous cultural events. I have participated in the York Art Association, my daughter has been a member of the York Junior Symphony. I am a teacher in one of the local school districts. I was a member of Penn State York's Pullo Center. I vote.
Last week I decided to visit the Irish side of my heritage. A friend of my father's wanted to celebrate Bloomsday. She could not find any record of the celebration so we met at "Maewyn's" the local Irish pub to read some Ulysses and drink some stoudt. I chose Murphy's over Guinness. Maewyn's pulls a great draught, but they are inept in cuisine. Kim and I read a few passages over lukewarm Irish stew but we enjoyed the company.
On Saturday, June 16th the actual Bloomsday proper I attended the Penn-Mar (Pennsylvania-Maryland) Irish festival thinking I'd hear some traditional music perhaps or find some drunken Bloomsday afficianados, but was incredibly disappointed to find only bad "Irish rock" , and Irish dancers with wigs and China made kitsch sporting mooning Notre Dame leprechauns and keychains with your "Irish" surname. Yes people wore green and drank whatever beverage they were serving,
Not a cultural experience for daughter or self. We had more fun at the Amish market next door. Daughter was looking to buy a bohdran to supplement her Irish flute. She has become quite good at it.