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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics



When I wrote about growing up a couple of days ago, I left out a very important year of my childhood. In 1980, my family moved to Ireland. My dad was taking a sabbatical, and then teaching in St. Scholastica's study abroad program on Ireland's west coast in the spring. My mom was getting her Montessori elementary certification in Dublin. Thus I spent a very impressionable year surrounded by Irish culture, thousands of years of enchanting Irish ruins, and going to an Irish school, where there was an intense focus on creative writing and history. (Is it any wonder Ireland has turned out so many great writers?)

In 2004, my dad went to Ireland again for the same teaching program. Michelle and I took the opportunity to return to the Emerald Isle (she had visited it briefly in college when she was studying in London for a semester). We flew to Dublin with my mother and one of our nieces. My dad met us there, and we all bundled into a tiny European rental car and drove across the island and back, visiting many places I remembered fondly from my childhood.

On one day of this trip, Michelle and I hiked to the top of Croagh Patrick, a traditional pilgrimage destination amidst the rugged landscape of County Mayo. Here's a picture of us after our hike, with the mountain behind us.


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