SHAMOKIN — “Top o’ the mornin’ to ye.”

Today is a day good Irishmen do a lot of rejoicing. O’Briens, Kelleys, Horgartys, O’Garas, Monaghans, Boblicks, Branigans, O’Learys, Harrigans, Fitztpatricks, Quirks, Donnellys and Cooks all over the world hold their heads up just a little bit higher on St. Patrick’s Day.

Irishmen and non-Irishmen alike get in a festive mood by wearing green attire, faking a brogue and maybe even sticking shamrocks in their lapels. It’s a day when mankind is divided into two catagories: the Irish and the people who wish they were Irish.

A little six-year-old girl, Sharon, was once in such a state of tears that not even her parish priest, kindly, old Father Pat, could console her.

“What is it, my dear, to make you carry on like this? Sure, if your tears were rain, they’d be enough water to flood all of Ireland,” Father Pat said.

“Oh, Father Pat, my friend Kevin McNamara just told me I’m only half Irish. Kevin said his mother told him my father isn’t really Irish because there’s a ‘ski’ on the end of our name.”

“There, there, my child. As I have always said, ‘Half an Irishman is better than none.’ It doesn’t matter so much anyway whether a person is Irish by blood as long as he’s Irish in his heart,” Father Pat remarked. Believe me, if you ever feel depressed about anything at all, talk to an Irish priest. He’ll fix you up in no time flat.”

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