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Hats Off    |    by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 03/02/2003


By staff writer

When you think of the color green, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s my grandmother, Claudia McCrary, a grand southern lady who spoiled, nurtured, and inspired me, her first grandchild. Born an O’Neal, she married a McCrary, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not Catholic but Irish through and through. So much so, her favorite color being green became a family joke over the years, which she was the first to laugh at! We would come across something in a store and the first thing my grandmother would say is, “Oh look, it comes in green!” And now thirty years after she passed away, my sister and I can look at something and without thinking both blurt out, “Oh look, it comes in green!” For years I thought my grandmother was my only link to Irish ancestors, but recently I researched and found my father’s Nason ancestors have their roots in Ireland. And so with much authority, I can say for certain Leprechauns do exist and there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with Signal Mountain and believe it or not, there is a link. The patron saint of Ireland is St. Patrick, a pagan who discovered God while in prison and then changing his name to Patrick came back to Ireland and converted other pagans to Christianity. And for thousands of years, the people of Ireland have celebrated St. Patrick on the day of his death, March 17th. Today Irish/Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades and special events throughout the country. One doesn’t have to be Catholic to participate in these events or even Irish, as the spirit of the celebration is the true blessing.

In honor of St. Patrick, the Auxiliary of the Alexian Village Health Care Center and Alexian Inn holds it’s annual fundraiser every year; a luncheon and card party at St. Augustine’s Parish Life Center on Anderson Pike. This is the only fundraiser the Auxiliary has and all benefits from this event, once expenses are covered, go to supporting the programs the Auxiliary provides for the residents in the Health Care Center and Inn. Residents from all over the mountain are invited to attend. Tickets are $10, which includes lunch. Tables for card games are set up, door prizes are awarded, and fellowship abounds. The Leprechaun has hidden his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the Alexian Auxiliary has found his treasurer. It’s in the faces of the residents in the Health Care Center and Inn. You too can experience that love by becoming a member of the Auxiliary and/or by attending the Luncheon and Card Party on Tuesday, March 18th. Call Ellen Heavilon at or Susan Dickens at , for tickets or see me at the GRAPEViNE.

Last month I asked, “What mark you will make on this journey of life?” The Calendar of Events posted this month is filled with wonderful opportunities. All you have to do is take the first step by showing up. There truly is something for everyone. For example, Nancy Urban at the Bachman Community Center invites all residents on the mountain to the great new programs being offered this month, including weekly card and board games and family night as well as health programs like senior aerobics and blood pressure checks sponsored by the Memorial Gold program. Have you read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg yet? A discussion will be held at the Community Center; to register call . The SM Community Guild will hear Sally Robinson’s program entitled “Chattanooga Then and Now”. Jeanie Randall, Librarian from Huntsville, Alabama will be the guest speaker at this month’s Literature Department meeting. The SM Evening Guild invites women from the mountain to attend their meeting where plans for the annual Dogwood Luncheon are being made. For details on time and place of these and other community events, check out the list on the home page. Please call me at with updates or ideas.

Presentation of the “Woman of the Year” will once again be at the Annual Dogwood Luncheon, April 23, 2003 at the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club. The Signal Mountain Community Guild sponsors this annual event and invites all women on the mountain to attend. It is important to remember that this is not a contest on who gets the most votes. The nominations are not ballots but recommendations and the winner is the woman that deserves the honor.

I doubt that I am agile enough to bend over backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone and thus have the gift of persuasive eloquence. But I do hope that in some small way I am able to persuade you to consider choosing to support the great organizations on this mountain. May the luck of the Irish be with you – find a four leaf clover, kiss the Blarney stone, and by all means wear green!