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No easy answers for Trump, U.S. when Syria crosses lines

  • Written by Joe Boyle

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When does a red line become a red line?

President Donald Trump was asked if Syria’s chemical weapons attack on April 4 that left 87 people killed, 31 of them children, had crossed a red line? Trump responded that it indeed crossed a red line, and it crossed many lines.

And last Thursday, the U.S. responded by firing 59 missiles at Syrian airfields that destroyed aircraft in retaliation for the chemical attacks. Trump had seen the images of children gasping for air and the many dead infants due to the chemical attacks. The red line question appeared to convince Trump, who previously said the U.S. would stay out of the Syrian conflict, that something had to be done.

This same scenario occurred in 2013 when then President Barack Obama warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that his actions and the use of chemical weapons had crossed a red line. But Assad continued to use chemical weapons and Obama decided to take a more measured response. Obama even admitted years later that this was a dark period of his presidency.

The overall response to the Trump administration’s decision to bomb Syria has generally been favorable. It gives the impression that we are tough. But several days have passed and I am wondering where do we go from here? We have had other instances in American history that lines have been drawn in the sand and major decisions had to be made.

Before the U.S. got involved in World War II, we were often referred to as isolationists, caring only for our own self-interests. Rumors had been circulating that the Nazi regime in Germany had been more than just critical of Jews, foreigners and homosexuals. Critics point out that the U.S. preferred to keep a cool distance. If that was true, it was due to the fact the U.S. did not want to return to another World War I.

However, a few years passed and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec, 7, 1941 and shocked our nation. We were now in World War II. My dad and millions of other men would soon be fighting overseas. But it took a controversial decision to bring the war to a rapid conclusion when the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.

Since then, we have been in Vietnam, Iraq and Iraq again. And we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those two wars seemingly will never end.

Obama’s approach may have been too detached when it came to Syria. But as several military officials said at the time, there are no good alternatives. That’s when you have to review our history. In this case, we did not have to look back far. Sending in troops and getting involved in the quagmire that is Syria was not an option Obama wanted to explore. Getting involved in Syria while still having troops in Afghanistan and Iraq was not something Obama wanted to do.

Even Trump at the time said that Obama should stay out of Syria. And we believe the current president does not want to get involved in a ground battle in Syria. The irony of all this is that Russia and Iran are aligned with Assad in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS. But the problem here is that Assad appears to have no problem gassing his own residents, which includes children. He may be fighting against ISIS but he is also wants to terminate any perceived dissidents in his country.

Since Russia is not big on human rights, they don’t care even though they pretend to. What they are concerned about is keeping Assad in power. That’s why Russia can still say that their main goal is to defeat ISIS but we know more is at stake here.

Perhaps nothing more will occur in the near future. Syrian residents are still in danger and Assad is still in power. I don’t think Trump or most of his cabinet members look long term when they have to make decisions about what needs to be done in Syria. Maybe the U.S. has made their point. We will use force if necessary when Assad uses chemical weapons.

But the violence continues in Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that more attacks occurred on Saturday in Khan Sheikhoun, the town that was previously hit with chemical weapons. According to one published report, one woman was killed and several other people were injured. This time, no chemical weapons were used.

I believe the Trump administration will proceed with caution from now on when it comes to Syria. In World War I and II, the U.S. had no other choice but to go to war. We are currently involved in two. Getting involved in Syria is a line that the U.S. does not want to cross.

Joe Boyle is the editor of The Reporter. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A tale of perseverance that graduates should heed

  • Written by Claudia Parker

 

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Submitted photo

Keisan Marshall is seen at left working on The Maury Show. He now works on the Dr. Phil program.

 

Graduates, you might want to lean in for this. Just in case your momma didn’t mention it, your diploma alone may not land you that dream job. Obtaining your education, yeah, that was the easy part. Now the real work begins!

Keisean Marshall, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., said he dreamt of working in television since he was in grade school. Born and raised on the streets of Harlem, New York, there wasn’t a shortage of television stations nearby.

“I couldn’t have been any older than 10 years old when I used to loiter outside networks begging them to hire me as an intern,” said Marshall. “They’d look at me all sideways.”

Marshall said he was undeterred. His hunger to work in television never waned. After palming his diploma from Harlem, New York’s Rice High School, he pursued and conquered a broadcast journalism degree from Hampton University in Virginia.

Today, Marshall can be found on the Paramount Studios lot working as an associate producer on the Dr. Phil show, which is currently in the coveted No. 1 slot in the daytime talk show lineup.

Marshall might be resting his head in Sherman Oaks with his chest stuck out like Sherman Hemsley for having ‘moved-on-up’ like The Jeffersons, but it wasn’t exactly an elevator ride to the top.

“I didn’t find a job in television for two years after graduation,” said Marshall. “I was working temp jobs… doing all kinds of stuff I didn’t want to do, like retail, standing on my feet all day. I found myself lingering in the dressing room feeling sorry for myself a few too many times.”

Marshall said his frequent interviews for positions within his field left him waiting by the phone.

“None of them ever called,” said Marshall.

Desperate, he applied for an audience assistance position for a new British tabloid talk show called, The Jeremy Kyle Show, which debuted back in 2005.

Not exactly sure what an audience assistant even was, Marshall said he eagerly accepted the on-the-spot offer that came with a whopping $7.25 an hour wage.

“I was still living with my parents at that time so I made it work,” recalled Marshall. However, what didn’t work was the duties of his job. “I was the audience hype man and I also had to figure out how to fill the audience seats.”

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To prove himself worthy of a position more suitable, Marshall said he took the initiative to prepare and pitch various show topics to the suits above him and impressively, he slid into a production assistant position.

Too bad the show was canceled shortly after!

Thank heavens for friends and referrals because that’s exactly how Marshall went on to spend his next two years working for The Maury Show that eventually led to his associate producer title. Somewhere between the 45-minute train ride from Harlem to Stamford, Conn., and the baby momma drama we all know Maury for, Marshall said he needed a change. He applied for a job with Revolt TV. It's an American music-oriented digital cable channel owned and operated by Sean “Diddy” Combs.

“When I accepted the job, I didn’t realize it wasn’t local,” laughed Marshall. “The job was in L.A. and I had just got my own apartment in NY.”

Marshall found grace yet again with a friend who provided a small piece of real estate in the corner of her apartment on an air mattress.

“I had to get comfortable with the L.A. transit system quick because I didn’t have a car either. “

The Hampton U professors had warned Marshall that his quest into entertainment television may prove troublesome.

“They advised me to stay away from entertainment journalism, I don’t think they thought it was respectable, said Marshall. “They told me to pursue a broadcast position with the nightly news or something.”

He said when his journalism classmates would be researching politics and crime, he’d be trying to find the latest Hollywood scoop.

A dream is a dream, even when there are obstacles blocking the view. And for Marshall, there were many.

Budget cuts at Revolt TV left Marshall unemployed again!

The Revolt pink slip didn’t sting quite as much as the one he received from his next talk show gig with, The Real. There, Marshall worked with the beautiful and wittingly entertaining cast of Adrienne Bailon, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housley and formerly on the show, Tamar Braxton.

“I was crushed when my department got downsized, I loved that job,” explained Marshall. “I was depressed after that.”

The Lord lifted Marshall right up outta his depression by leading him to the honorable, Bishop T.D. Jakes. No, he wasn’t attending his megachurch, The Potters House, in Dallas. He was working on his new talk show, The T.D. Jakes show.

“It was such a great experience working for him. He truly cared about every show. He’d invest hours working with each producer, talking to us about our shows. He genuinely wanted to help every guest,” said Marshall. “Sometime he’d be analyzing a person and providing counsel and in my head, I’d be like, 'hey…that sounds like my life. You could be talking about me.'”

Marshall didn’t confirm, however, several media sources have reported the T.D. Jakes show will not return for a second season.

“I already miss working there,” expressed Marshall.

Marshall is still settling into his new quarters on the Dr. Phil show. He’s anticipating a lot from the well-oiled machine they seem to have in place.

“My career is still young, I’m looking forward to learning and growing from everyone around me,” Marshall said. “When you surround yourself with people who are supportive, you can be successful in anything you try. Your attitude and how you interact with others is critical to your upward mobility, if you’re unlikeable, your education and experience is meaningless. Lastly, set your sights on a goal and hit it, then set another one.”

Graduates, you’re going to need passion, patience and perseverance if you desire true fulfillment. Knowing this in advance will help prepare you for the journey that lies ahead.  

Claudia Parker is an author, photographer and a reporter. Her columns appear every second and fourth Thursday of each month. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Chuck Berry’s music was out of this world

  • Written by Joe Boyle

 

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We live in a world of hyperbole, thanks in large part to reality TV and social media. Someone is said to be the king of this or the queen of that. When these titles are so easily thrown around they have little meaning.

The late Michael Jackson was a great singer and an outstanding performer. He was referred to as the “King of Pop.” I’m not sure what that actually means. The late Elizabeth Taylor, of all people, came up with that moniker. Sometimes well-intentioned titles are just meaningless.

Referring to Frank Sinatra as the “Chairman of the Board” has a nice ring to it. The Rolling Stones were once probably the “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Band’” on some nights. Benny Goodman was known as the “King of Swing.”

I don’t recall specific titles given to Chuck Berry, who died at the age of 90 Saturday afternoon just outside St. Louis. I’ve seen a reference to him this week as the “Father of Rock ‘n Roll.” I don’t know if he was or not. But if not, then who was?

Elvis Presley was always known as the “King” due to his emergence in the early days of rock ‘n roll. Presley was the answer to some record executives’ dreams. When so-called “race music” began popping up on some radio stations in the early 1950s, managers and executives wondered if they could find a white man who sounded black and moved around the stage as opposed to just singing into a microphone. They felt such a performer could draw a large audience of white teens.

Presley was the answer to that dream. I don’t know if Elvis was the “King of Rock ‘n Roll” but he put the music on the map, especially after his TV performances on “Milton Berle” and “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the mid-1950s.

The way I look it is the King is just a part of Presley’s title. His early performances shocked more conservative tastes. Elvis was a southern boy who grew up on country, blues and gospel music. He was performing that way long before his TV performances.

But Berry was unique. I recall when I was a teen a couple of friends of mine were arguing over who was better, Chuck Berry or Little Richard, the flamboyant piano player and singer who was noted for his outrageous look long before David Bowie and Prince. Little Richard, whose real name is Richard Penniman, was never short on confidence. He would scream to anyone who would listen that he was the actual King of Rock.

But when that question was once posed to The Who’s Pete Townshend years later about Little Richard’s royalty, he looked at the reporter with contempt. In his mind, Little Richard was all hype. Chuck Berry was the real deal.

Berry may not be the king or greatest this or greatest that. But if you examine his long career, he is an integral part of American music of the 20th century. In several documentaries I’ve watched on Berry, he said that he was able to see some country singers at a local theater in St. Louis. He was heavily influenced by county music chord progressions that he brought to his own band at the age of 15. The guitar was his instrument of choice and his early influences was country and swing music.

Many of his hit records of the 1950s -- “Johnny B. Goode,” "Roll Over Beethoven,” “Back in the USA” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” – had country influences in those distinctive guitar riffs backed by a rolling drum beat. But it wasn’t until Chicago and Chess Records when he recorded a re-worked country song called “Maybelline” that Berry’s career took off.

While Presley obviously was the major attraction who popularized rock, Berry poured out the hits that he arranged and wrote that white teens could also identify with. Young white audiences could identify with his songs about fast cars and girls.

Berry will not be mentioned with reverence and love like some other performers when they died. Three jail sentences have something to do with that. His third offense was when he was accused of secretly filming women in the bathroom of his restaurant.

In that regard, Berry could be cantankerous and moody. But all those complexities resulted in some memorable music.

NASA compiled 27 songs on a “Golden Record” that includes photographs and other artifacts and attached it to the Voyage 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 to explore the outer depths of the solar system. Only one rock song appears on that list. The song is not by Little Richard, or Elvis, The Beatles, the Stones or The Who.

That song that’s now floating in interstellar space is “Johnny B. Goode.” If there is any intelligent life out there, maybe they will learn those guitar licks and do the duck walk.

Joe Boyle is the editor of The Reporter. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Chuck Berry’s music was out of this world

We live in a world of hyperbole, thanks in large part to reality TV and social media. Someone is said to be the king of this or the queen of that. When these titles are so easily thrown around they have little meaning.

The late Michael Jackson was a great singer and an outstanding performer. He was referred to as the “King of Pop.” I’m not sure what that actually means. The late Elizabeth Taylor, of all people, came up with that moniker. Sometimes well-intentioned titles are just meaningless.

Referring to Frank Sinatra as the “Chairman of the Board” has a nice ring to it. The Rolling Stones were once probably the “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Band’” on some nights. Benny Goodman was known as the “King of Swing.”

I don’t recall specific titles given to Chuck Berry, who died at the age of 90 Saturday afternoon just outside St. Louis. I’ve seen a reference to him this week as the “Father of Rock ‘n Roll.” I don’t know if he was or not. But if not, then who was?

Elvis Presley was always known as the “King” due to his emergence in the early days of rock ‘n roll. Presley was the answer to some record executives’ dreams. When so-called “race music” began popping up on some radio stations in the early 1950s, managers and executives wondered if they could find a white man who sounded black and moved around the stage as opposed to just singing into a microphone. They felt such a performer could draw a large audience of white teens.

Presley was the answer to that dream. I don’t know if Elvis was the “King of Rock ‘n Roll” but he put the music on the map, especially after his TV performances on “Milton Berle” and “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the mid-1950s.

The way I look it is the King is just a part of Presley’s title. His early performances shocked more conservative tastes. Elvis was a southern boy who grew up on country, blues and gospel music. He was performing that way long before his TV performances.

But Berry was unique. I recall when I was a teen a couple of friends of mine were arguing over who was better, Chuck Berry or Little Richard, the flamboyant piano player and singer who was noted for his outrageous look long before David Bowie and Prince. Little Richard, whose real name is Richard Penniman, was never short on confidence. He would scream to anyone who would listen that he was the actual King of Rock.

But when that question was once posed to The Who’s Pete Townshend years later about Little Richard’s royalty, he looked at the reporter with contempt. In his mind, Little Richard was all hype. Chuck Berry was the real deal.

Berry may not be the king or greatest this or greatest that. But if you examine his long career, he is an integral part of American music of the 20th century. In several documentaries I’ve watched on Berry, he said that he was able to see some country singers at a local theater in St. Louis. He was heavily influenced by county music chord progressions that he brought to his own band at the age of 15. The guitar was his instrument of choice and his early influences was country and swing music.

Many of his hit records of the 1950s -- “Johnny B. Goode,” Roll Over Beethoven,” “Back in the USA” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” – had country influences in those distinctive guitar riffs backed by a rolling drum beat. But it wasn’t until Chicago and Chess Records when he recorded a re-worked country song called “Maybelline” that Berry’s career took off.

While Presley obviously was the major attraction who popularized rock, Berry poured out the hits that he arranged and wrote that white teens could also identify with. Young white audiences could identify with his songs about fast cars and girls.

Berry will not be mentioned with reverence and love like some other performers when they died. Three jail sentences have something to do with that. His third offense was when he was accused of secretly filming women in the bathroom of his restaurant.

In that regard, Berry could be cantankerous and moody. But all those complexities resulted in some memorable music.

NASA compiled 27 songs on a “Golden Record” that includes photographs and other artifacts and attached it to the Voyage 1 spacecraft launched in 1977 to explore the outer depths of the solar system. Only one rock song appears on that list. The song is not by Little Richard, or Elvis, The Beatles, the Stones or The Who.

That song that’s now floating in interstellar space is “Johnny B. Goode.” If there is any intelligent life out there, maybe they will learn those guitar licks and do the duck walk.

Joe Boyle is the editor of The Reporter. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Oak Lawn woman welcomes two children in her life

  • Written by Claudia Parker

 

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Submitted photo

The child known as “Baby E” stands outside the Daley Center on the day she officially was adopted by Oak Lawn resident Linda Panico.

 

Room for two!

According to the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Linda Panico’s Oak Lawn condo has just enough square footage to accommodate raising two children.

Living unwed and child-free, Linda found herself longing for motherhood. So she took the reins of fate and signed up for the Foster to Adoption Illinois program. Her journey began in May of 2012 and came to fruition Feb. 15, 2017. On this day, a 4-year-old miniature Cinderella I’ll refer to as Baby E officially became Linda’s daughter.

Valentine’s Day was working overtime!

The outpouring of love for this child is so great it sends shivers through my spine. Hearing about Baby E’s adoption day was ear candy. Over 30 family and friends commuted into the Chicago Loop and packed a Daley Center courtroom for the official news. For those unable to squeeze their rump in the 15-passenger van rented for the day, they trailed by the carloads. There were two professional photographers on hand to capture the exuberance in and outside of the Daley Center. Between the adoption day selfie frame, ‘it’s official’ poster and custom made matching T-shirts, there was plenty of posing going on.

The T-shirts, which read “It’s Official. I’m a Panico!” included a photo of Baby E with her adoption date. They were worn by a fleet of people.

“In total, 125 family and friends wore the T-shirts on her adoption day,” said Linda. “The people that couldn’t physically be with us texted pictures of themselves wearing the shirts. It was overwhelming. I received several hundred congratulatory messages.”

Linda said she even provided T-shirts for the presiding judge, her attorney and the state's attorney. She and nearly all of her associates seemed to be celebrating Baby E. After all, as written on her sign, she had been in foster care 1,385 days. But Feb. 15, 2017 wasn’t one of them.

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Linda said the foster care process went faster than expected. After passing an FBI background check and 27 hours of parenting classes she was granted a foster care license from Springfield. She was told it could take up to six months before a child came into her home. Nonetheless, Baby E was placed in her arms within the same month of receiving her license.

Linda reminisced what it felt like when she and 13-month-old Baby E first met.

“She was barely awake. They handed her to me with the clothes on her back and one diaper,” said Linda. “They said, ‘Here she is, she’s yours,’ and just like that, they walked away.”  

How ironic. In similar fashion, that’s exactly what happens to mothers who give birth. We’re given this little lump of joy and sent home from the hospital after watching a couple of hours of parenting videos. Yet, somehow, we all seem to manage.

Love leads the way.

Unlike the foster care process, an adoption process can be lengthy and stressful with hope uncertainties on both sides. While the adoptive parent or parents hope for an opportunity into parenthood, the biological parent or parents hope they won’t live to regret their decision to relinquish the baby.

For some parents, unfortunate circumstances lead them into that direction.

It was a Chicago police officer by the name of Officer Diaz that suspected the then 13-month-old Baby E needed to be removed from her mother’s custody. Her biological baby brother, whom we will call “T,” made his way into the Panico residence much sooner than 13 months. He was seven days old. Little brother T, now 2, and Baby E are said to be happily inseparable.

Baby E and her little brother T, whose adoption is still in process, are incredibly lucky. They have a biological mother who loved them enough to allow them to be loved and cared for by someone else. That takes great courage and I applaud her for giving these precious children the gift of a life with Linda Panico.

An emotional and teary Linda expressed compassion around the situation that brought these two special people into her life. She's merciful, protective and selective when she speaks, choosing to be considerate of everyone involved. She's doing what good mothers do; we protect each other and refrain from judging. She's only spoken of their biological mother with empathy.

“I'm grateful to her, I don’t want my gain to be her loss,” Linda said. “I include her in their lives. We talk on the phone. I send emails and share pictures.”

Parenting isn't easy, it takes daily sacrifice and a willing heart to learn, give and teach. Some people simply aren't equipped to be parents. They do not possess the skill nor do they desire to learn what's essential to providing the nurturing, safe care children need. Adoption for their children becomes just as crucial as those who are orphans. When Linda's children are older and mature enough to understand, she’s prepared to provide the details of how a single, white female became the mother of two, half African American and half Honduras, children.

“I was asked if I had a race preference,” said Linda. “Race doesn’t matter to me. Race was never a question. They've been loved and accepted by me and my entire family from the very beginning.”

Linda said being a mom is going well. She said she's labored through a few challenges the children have experienced while adjusting to their new environment. Yet, she’s done it with a smile -- some days a few tears, and a sense of humor.

Honey -- that’s all of us. Welcome to motherhood!

Linda Panico’s condo may only have room for two, but she has the capacity in her heart to house a Hilton.

If you’d like to learn more about the Foster to Adoption program visit.http://www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/state-information/illinois

Claudia Parker is an author, photographer and a reporter. Her columns appear every second and fourth Thursday of each month. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

St. Patrick’s Day goes into overtime

  • Written by Joe Boyle

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St. Patrick’s Day has still not arrived, but why do I feel like it has been around for a month? The wearin’ of the green seems to have somehow turned into a seasonal event, not just one day.

During the first weekend of March, I attended a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser and party at my old parish in Chicago. Looking through some other community newspapers I noticed there were several St. Patrick’s Day events occurring at other Catholic parishes throughout the Chicago area.

And this past weekend, we had a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Chicago. The highlight of that parade is witnessing the Chicago River dyed green. It is a big event and it draws a large crowd.

But it does not compare to the South Side Irish Parade that was held this past Sunday. The parade route begins at 103rd and Western Avenue and concludes at 115th and Western. The parade took about one hour and 40 minutes. I took photos of the event for our paper and a couple of other editions. It is a good time and an opportunity to see people you have not seen in a while.

The parade estimate was about 200,000 people. That is quite a huge crowd for a neighborhood event. And to think that this parade drew as many as 400,000 during the days when the event became too large, drawing people from throughout the suburbs and the city’s North Side. Revelers in those days would empty out of bars and into the streets. The partying was getting out of hand and the parade was shut down for a few years.

The parade has gone back to its original concept, which means it is more of a family event. However, there are still many who go into the local bars on Western to tip a few pints. And walking to and coming back from the parade, I noticed people holding parties that spilled out into the streets. But most of all, these neighbors appeared to be having a good time.

I like it the way it is now. You can bring kids to the event if you like. On the other hand, the bars are open for those who want to celebrate by having more than corned beef and cabbage.

It was a little cold at 36 degrees but the sun was shining. That’s an improvement over last year, when a steady drizzle made it difficult to watch the parade. And I can tell you that it was difficult to take photos, too.

But the downtown parade and the South Side Parade are not the only St. Patrick’s Day events. We now have a St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Chicago’s Northwest Side. They don’t seem to draw as many people as downtown or in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves from the news clips I’ve watched.

A St. Patrick’s Day-themed parade called the Irish Fleadh Parade has been held in Oak Forest for a number of years. Tinley Park has hosted a St. Patrick’s Day Parade for years. Countryside also has a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. A St. Patrick’s Day Party is also held in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood.

If these parades all have something in common, it’s that they are rarely — if ever — held on St. Patrick’s Day. At one time, the parades were actually held on March 17. But like many of these events, they are now celebrated on the weekends as close to the March 17 date as possible. Consequently, we have been adding more of these St. Patrick Day celebrations beginning in late February.

My Uncle Jack was born in Chicago but grew up in Ireland. He used to laugh when he came back here in regards to how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. First of all, there were no parades or corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. But since the 1950s, immigrants would come over here and take part in our parades. Visitors and local dignitaries arrive here and in New York City and Boston and are impressed with the festive parades.

So, while St. Patrick’s Day was just another day to go to the pub and celebrate, parades are now held in Ireland as well. The Irish may have been amused when they first saw the American creations of St. Patrick’s Day. But most of the Irish like to have a good time, so the parades and I imagine even corned beef have found their way to the Emerald Isle.

After all this celebrating, what is going to actually happen on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, apparently even the Irish have a little pull with the Vatican, or at least with the Chicago Archdiocese. We have been informed by Cardinal Blase Cupich that Catholics will be given special dispensation tomorrow for St. Patrick’s Day.

And that means pass the corned beef, cabbage and carrots. Maybe even have a Guinness or two.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone — whether you celebrate for one day or a month.

Joe Boyle is the editor of The Reporter. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .