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Make Frank McCourt Proud: Buy a Ticket to Irish Evening Today.

Upcoming HoCoPoLitSo Events

  • Carrie and John Brown -- A Family Affair June 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Slayton House, 10400 Cross Fox Ln, Columbia, MD 21044, USA HoCoPoLitSo’s Celebration of Columbia’s 50th Birthday John Gregory Brown and Carrie Brown. Presented in partnership with Wilde Lake Community Association.
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the Howard County Library June 10, 2017 the Howard County Library

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On a tight budget? You have no idea.

Here’s how Frank McCourt’s family’s budget – funded by the Irish dole — is tallied by his mother.

“Nineteen shillings for the six of us? That’s less than four dollars in American money and how are we supposed to live on that? What are we to do when we have to pay rent in a fortnight? If the rent for this room is five shillings a week we’ll have fourteen shillings for food and clothes and coal to boil the water for tea.”

That’s from McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, his amazing memoir of a miserable Irish Catholic childhood, from which he read at HoCoPoLitSo’s 2009 Irish Evening of Music and Poetry.

Lucille Clifton and Frank McCourt during his Irish Evening Visit to HoCoPoLitSo in 2009.

Lucille Clifton and Frank McCourt share a laugh during his Irish Evening visit to HoCoPoLitSo in 2009.

Which is all to say that the Irish have a history of thrifty.

My great-grandmother, who grew up in the Irish and African-American section of Georgetown when it was more the country than the city, could put a meal on the kitchen table for her five children and hungry husband for an amazingly small amount of money. That meal, of course, required hours of her bent-back labor in a small patch of garden, sweating over Ball jars of stewed tomatoes in August and kneading bread until her forearms were as cut as Jillian Michaels’ (almost).

Those around here who want to hear a good Irish story don’t need to sweat or scrape to save a little bit. On Feb. 1, the price of an Irish Evening of Music and Poetry ticket goes from $30 to $35. A small rise, grant you, but a rise nonetheless that my great-grandmother would cluck over, and one that could feed all those little McCourts for a week.

Buy a ticket today and make Frank proud. Save five bucks and here’s what you receive on March 1: Colum McCann, that swashbuckling former reporter who spins yarns that win National Book Awards and lift readers high over Manhattan (Let the Great World Spin) and lower them deep into the tunnels under New York (This Side of Brightness). At the Irish Evening, McCann will read from his work, Narrowbacks will play their sprite Irish tunes, stepdancers from the Culkin School will fling their feet higher than their heads. Bartenders are cooking up a signature Irish drink to go with the Irish coffee and Guinness. Win raffle baskets of Irish books and music and food. Bid on signed Seamus Heaney broadsides and custom-made jewelery. Go on, have a scone.

For tickets, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/287811 or call 443-518-4568.

Susan Thornton Hobby
Board Member

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5 Comments

  1. Danuta Hinc says:

    In: “My great-grandmother, who grew up in the Irish and African-American section of Georgetown when it was more the country than the city …” I want to know who is talking. Who is “my”? Great story!

  2. Susan Thornton Hobby says:

    Hi Danuta,
    It’s me. I forgot to put my tag on. I’ll do it today!
    Susan

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