I remember getting my first St. Patrick’s Day card…from Ireland. The card was from a former co-worker who had repatriated to Ireland with her husband. I was surprised that it didn’t have dancing leprechauns or a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” kind of limerick. It was quite sober, sweet, and religious. Like choosing an angel over Santa.

Who was St. Patrick? There’s a sacred and secular answer. The Catholic Online site says he was born in Scotland around 385. His parents were Romans living in Britain. In his teens Patrick was captured by Irish raiders, taken to Ireland and sold into slavery to a chieftan named Milchu in Dalriada. In that condition, he found God. Eventually he escaped and sought religious training. He’s credited for fusing the Celtic and Christian symbols and traditions into Christianity in Ireland. His date of death is said to be March 17.

What ever happened to The Cranberries? Were they a one-hit wonder like The Commitments. I really dug “Linger.” Good driving music. I like acoustic. Got a favorite driving song? According to an official site, the group had a brief reunion early this year in Dublin at Trinity College. Dolores O’Riordan was being named an Honorary Patron of Trinity College’s Philosophical Society. Apparently parenthood has put the band on reunion hiatus.

The first time I had real cornbeef and cabbage was in Los Angeles. It happened to be my first trip to LA too. “I’m not Irish,” the host announced. “I’m Jewish. But I love everything Irish.” The cornbeef and cabbage were catered, the host added – just to make sure it was done right.

On a subsequent trip to LA to attened the Writers Guild conference, I went to a panel featuring the screenwriter Terry George. Great panel. I was impressed by the writers’ passion and purpose. Terry George was a writer on the screenplay “In the Name of the Father,” based on the true story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four. The Guildford Four were wrongly accused of the IRA bombing of a pub in Guildford. Their confessions were coerced. What does this say for the effectiveness of torture? Gerry Conlon’s father, one of the accused, died in prison before they were acquited.

Should I have a pint this evening? The bars will be crowded.

Ron Edmonds/AP
Ron Edmonds/AP
The Irish PM Brian Cowen and top leaders from Northern Ireland met the President at the White House today. First Lady Michelle Obama came up with the idea to top off the WH fountain with a touch ‘o green.

Tonight the White House hosts a cocktail reception for their guests. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon from Northern Ireland will read, The Shannon Rovers of Chicago will perform bagpipe music, and Celtic Thunder , an all male ensemble, will do what they do with vocal music. [They’ve also got a date at DAR this month here in DC.]

President Obama has Irish roots.

Well kiss me. So do I!