|Being Irish is Thanks Enough
By Timothy B. Mullen
What started out as a wild yet thoughtful idea quickly became a reality
when "meself," my wife and my brother and his wife went to Ireland over
Thanksgiving time, to celebrate a "true Irish Thanksgiving." It signifies
a double meaning because during the last week of November, Americans, including
of course we Irish Americans, eat a large oven-baked turkey, squash and
cranberry jam and Lord knows what else to give thanks to our forefathers
and our history.
Well, I did the same you could say, except I toasted to my Irish ancestry
and thanked them for having beautiful green valleys, rolling hills, great
literature and music, Guinness, but most of all, having such heart.
Aran sweaters, Locke's Whisky Distillery, lamb stew, sheep on every
hill, an Irish breakfast at every B&B, hot tea and who could forget
the Guinness storehouse. What started out in 1759 as a good idea to make
a heavy dark beer has literally turned the world into a better place. Now
the porter-style stout has become a cultural icon and massive business
conglomerate that controls an empire of beer, statistical information and
Guinness is not only a cultural staple for the Irish community but to
the world without any specific geographical territory boundaries because
it symbolizes more to the average "Murphy" than a simple beer maker. Just
as much as the brown bread, potatoes and Irish lamb stew is for a hearty
meal, Guinness has turned into a soul-warming and belly-filling diet for
the entire Irish identity.
Sure, when you think of Ireland so many vivid images come to mind such
as: religion, literature, bed and breakfasts, the warm people, golf, music,
whisky, four-leaf clovers, art, and a lot of GREEN. But no topic or word
depicts the strength and fertility of Ireland better than one, GUINNESS.
Every pub, every store, every logo, every tour and every thought invariably
comes alive when you think of Ireland; and you are thinking of Guinness.
It is the marketing leader, civic sponsor and founder of an entire genre
outside of itself that has turned into a symbol of all that is true and
real regarding Ireland.
Good people. Proud people. Smart and genuine people. People that simply
know how to enjoy themselves and have good old-fashioned plain fun. That
is why my brother and I and our wives are here. I, personally, have come
to the "Auld Sod" to discover my roots and rediscover why I am giving thanks
this week during an American Thanksgiving holiday. A celebration to my
forefathers, my ancestry, and for all that "being of Irish descent" stands
for…I would like to give thanks and perform the act where my actual ancestors
were from -Ireland.
My name is not Kennedy and, no, my father did not row a boat from the
"Viking land" to America, but I still highly regard my Irish roots as much
as anyone could. I thank these roots that I can bear my name, Mullen, proudly
and without hesitation as to where the origin lies. Do I mind that I still
have not discovered whether it is Galway, Cork or maybe somewhere else.
No matter, being Irish is thanks enough. So I would like to raise the glass
and say a toast, "To Ireland, being Irish is thanks enough."
|Editor’s Note: Timothy B. Mullen is a former writer and marketing manager
for The Irish American Post. A fluent Spanish-speaker, Mullen was
International Business Development Manager for Telefonica USA/PR, a $34-plus
Billion Telecommunications and Outsourcing corporation in Puerto Rico.
Now living in Chicago, he co-founded The Cervantes Group, a technology