WGT's Culture Editor, Patricia Jameson-Sammartano, sends us the following report. …
ANOTHER HUGHES MAKES HEADLINES ...
It was heartwarming to see 17-year-old Emily Hughes, supported by 2002 gold medalist sister Sarah and the entire Hughes clan, come in seventh in the just-ended Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Emily’s ebullience, despite a fall on a triple toe loop, foreshadows more Olympic glitter for the Hughes family, of Great Neck, N.Y.; her performance was grace under pressure. Emily had flown in as a last-minute replacement for injured Michelle Kwan. The younger Hughes achieved a personal best of 160.87, and will be one to watch in figure skating for some time. Vancouver 2010, watch out!
Emily’s father, John, was born in Canada, and her grandfather was an Irish immigrant. The Irish Echo reports in its current issue that he played professional soccer in Ireland. Another Hughes of note, of course, is Cardinal John Hughes, fiery mid-19th century, Tyrone-born archbishop of New York. No relation that we know of, but we are proud of all our Hughes.
Speaking of Vancouver, we note with interest that the mayor there, Sam Sullivan, accepted the 16-foot Olympic flag Sunday on behalf of his city to help mark the close of this year's events. The 46-year-old, confined to a wheelchair since a skiing accident at age 19, is the first quadriplegic to participate in the formal handover ceremonies. He quipped in the presence of a Washington Post reporter last week: "They have commented in Vancouver that we sent Canada's worst skier to the Olympics." We like this man!
Above left, Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan accepts the Olympic flag Sunday on behalf of his city to help close the 2006 Winter Olympics at Turino. City of Vancouver photo.
MARCH FOR IRISH HERITAGE MONTH
This week marks the beginning of March, and that means that we are celebrating Irish Heritage Month again. (For some of us, of course, every month is Irish Heritage Month, but Congress makes it official with a proclamation.) Speaking of MARCH, did we hear someone say "St. Patrick's Day"? We just happen to have one of the most comprehensive list of St. Patrick's Day parades worldwide here at WGT, thanks to our Heritage Editor John J. Concannon and Managing Editor Joe Gannon. Check it out, and, if you seen your local missing, please alert us.
Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in Manhattan, CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies, as part of its Book Club series, presents Dennis Smith's "A Song for Mary," and the author himself, at CUNY Graduate Center, Room C197.
Also Wednesday night in Manhattan, Pace University’s Institute For American Irish Studies sponsors a panel discussion on U.S. Involvement in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Participants include Niall O’Dowd, Frank Durkan, and Joseph Skelly, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Downtown Pace University's Multipurpose Room (between Park Row and Gold Street). The event is open to the public. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 346-1593.
New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House opens its March schedule with a March 9 book launch marking the publication of "Making the Irish American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States," edited by Professors J. Joseph Lee and Marion R. Casey.
This weekend, Glucksman Ireland House hosts the 8th annual Grian Conference (Friday through Saturday). This year the topic is "Eat, Drink, and Be Hungry: Ireland and Consumption." This conference started out small, but has become a showcase for scholars from all over the world. Last year’s conference, on Ireland and Race, was remarkable in its scope and attraction of scholars from outside the country. This year’s conference will feature presentations by Marion Casey and Hasia Diner.
TO THE CLOONEYS OF KILKENNY, "GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK!"
For those who are not in New York City this weekend, PBS is offering "Moments to Remember" on Saturday. Hosted by Patti Page, with co-host Nicholas Clooney, father of George and brother of Rosemary, the show presents the music of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Channel 13 is airing the show at 8 pm; Long Island-based WLIW has it skedded for Monday. Check your local listings. The Clooneys are originally from County Kilkenny; Guilfoyle is also a surname on their family tree. Check out ClooneyNetwork.com for some interesting perspectives on the family.
And finally, the Academy Awards will be held Sunday evening in Hollywood. Irish-American George Clooney (seen, left, with co-star David Strathairn) is up for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for "Good Night and Good Luck," which is also nominated for Best Picture; he’s also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "Syriana." Paul Giamatti is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Cinderella Man," the story of James J. Braddock, "the Bulldog of Bergen." And here’s a prediction: Philip Seymour Hoffman will walk with the Oscar for his portrayal in "Capote." -- Patricia Jameson-Sammartano