History was always a difficult subject for me when I was in school. Back then the methods of teaching were pretty basic and learning by memorizing dates, battles, general’s names, and geography was a matter of reading voluminous chapters of information I found difficult to retain and of little interest to me. Judging from the lackluster grades I got in those courses, perhaps it is a bit surprising that any of it stuck at all.
Since both of my maternal grandparents, my paternal grandmother and paternal great grandparents all migrated to Cleveland, Ohio by way of Ellis Island from the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia during the great middle-European flood of migrants leaving between the middle 1800s and early 1900s, I recently wondered why I have a strong interest in Celtic and Native American cultures. I heard, as a television program rolled on, that the Celts did go to Slovakia. Ah ha! Perhaps an investigation into my DNA would reflect at least a tiny bit of Irish after all.
A library I use because it is on the route I often drive crossing town to various appointments sends me notices of author talks which I hadn’t paid much attention to, but once I started attending them, their value became evident. A week ago after the Knights of Columbus stuffed cabbage dinner in Garfield Heights, I asked the two ladies I had eaten with if either cared to join me for a talk about the Easter Rebellion in Ireland in 1916. Both were off to other places, but I made it to the library in time to chat with the lady who sat next to me. I always ask people around me if they had read this author and listen to their comments in hope of learning new things. Frank Delany, a tall distinguished looking man with white hair arrived and after pronouncing Cuyahoga County correctly, a positive in my book, talked in depth about this event in history. A couple of the names I remembered from my 2011 trip to Ireland while others were new to me. At the very least, I have now pushed my copy of Ireland by Mr. Delany, a little closer to the top of the pile of books that I hope to get busy reading soon.