By Sean Barron
If you were looking for someone who’s pure Irish and whose Irish blood goes back generations, you wouldn’t do much better than Jean Scott.
“My mom played piano, and I always danced to an Irish jig when I was little,” the proud 90-year-old Howland woman said. “The Irish people are a fun-loving group who enjoys life.”
Scott certainly seemed to be enjoying herself during McMenamy’s Two Day St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday at McMenamy’s Restaurant, 325 Youngstown-Warren Road.
The festivities continue from noon to 8 p.m. today at McMenamy’s.
Accompanying Scott, who worked as a secretary at Wright Field near Dayton during World War II, was her daughter, Mary Hray of Howland, who also is not shy about saying she’s “100 percent Irish.”
“I take my mom out every year” for St. Patrick’s Day, said Hray, adding that the holiday means a lot to Smith.
Mother and daughter spent part of their afternoon Saturday taking in the sounds of County Mayo, one of the area’s most popular Irish bands, which kicked off the festivities with tunes such as “The Flowers of Edinburg,” “The Man Who Never Returned” and “Dirty Old Town.”
After County Mayo’s three-hour set, many people enjoyed entertainment from bagpipe players and Irish step dancers.
In addition to plenty of music, attendees partook of a buffet-style menu consisting of corned beef and cabbage, Dublin coddle potatoes, Irish bash pie, Reuben sandwiches, Irish bomb cupcakes and double-chocolate mint brownies, along with the usual burgers, fries and soft drinks. Of course, things wouldn’t be complete without the beer offerings.
Some people also spent $1 to $4 for a variety of green or white single-strand and novelty beads, bracelets, shot glasses, light-up pins and flashing and glow necklaces.
For those who feel they’re a bit photogenic, a photograph booth was available for $5 per person.
Also contributing merchandise to the all-day celebration was House of Erin in Boardman.
The annual celebration got under way shortly after McMenamy’s banquet hall opened in 1992 and has continued each year since, noted Bob Leonard, owner.
The restaurant was added about 10 years later, said Leonard, who sported a button that said, “I’m FBI” (full-blooded Irish).
So, what nationality do Scott’s six children, 14 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren share? You guessed it.
“They’re all Irish, oh yeah,” she said. “They have to be.”