On Back in Cobh

Cohb is along Ireland’s southern coast. Given its large natural harbor, it serves the entire area, including Cork. After a day in Guernsey in the English Channel, the Caribbean Princess docks in Cobh to give passengers access to Cork, Blarney Castle, and the rest of southern Ireland. After time in Cork, we spent our remaining time wandering Cobh.

Although the area’s history goes back to 1000 BC, Cobh was first called Cove, but from 1849-1920 it was known as Queenstown, then the name change to Cobh (which is Gaelic for cove).

The first striking figure that is more than obvious is St. Coleman’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic) – a neo-Gothic structure towering over the waterfront.

Embed from Getty Images

A statue of Annie Moore and her brothers greeted us at the dock. Annie Moore was the first person admitted into the US through the new emigration center at Ellis Island on January 1, 1892. Besides the Moores, between 1848-1959 over 2.5 million emigrated from Cobh in their search for new lives in new lands.

The town square is a short walk from dock – and an ominous statue greets visitors – the Lusitania Memorial Monument. On 7 May 1915 a German u-boat sunk the RMS Lusitania as it was en route to Liverpool – 1198 died and 700 survived. Because Cobh (then called Queenstown) was a base for British and American naval forces, rescuers brought survivors and recovered dead bodies to Cobh – therefore 167 are buried in Cobh.

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Three years before the Lusitania disaster, Cobh was the final port-of-call for the RMS Titanic (123 passengers boarded). The Titanic Experience is an attraction located in original White Star ticket office. When we arrived, tickets were sold out, but we heard good comments about it.

Up the hill we went to see the cathedral. The barricades are for a balls-racing-down-the-hill event, a fundraising effort we unfortunately missed.

It took 47 years to build (1868-1915) St. Coleman. An outstanding structure with a grand organ having 2,468 pipes and a tower including a 49-bell carillon.

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The plaza around St. Coleman provides excellent views of Cobh and the harbor region.

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Because of its maritime heritage, here’s a song by the Clancy Brothers & Tommy Maken about Cobh meeting the needs of sailors. Next stop: Dublin, Ireland

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On Following the Titanic

Image from Wikipedia

Although everyone knows the its story is legendary, we were surprised how much we encountered the RMS Titanic on our recent cruise around the British Isles.

We visited Liverpool, the home of White Star Line and the location of Titanic’s registry.

Liverpool from the departing ship

We traveled on Princess Cruise Lines, which is one division within Carnival Cruise Lines – that includes Cunard Line, the company that White Star merged with following the disaster.

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We visited Belfast where the Titanic was built (the actual site is on this side of the silver building – Titanic Belfast, a museum dedicated to honoring Belfast’s shipbuilding industry that is located on the former Harland and Wolff shipyard that built Titanic)

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Our cruise started in Southampton, the same city that Titanic started.

We stopped in Cobh, Ireland (then called Queenstown) – which was Titanic’s last stop where 125 people boarded. (More about Cobh in a future post.)

Several years ago we had a cruise stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) where 150 passengers are buried in three cemeteries

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… and I imagine many readers remember this in 1997 …

… but for me, the images of this video is what strikes me.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 216

On Politics
The Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) has endorsed the primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). To counter SCF, Sen. McConnell (who has a nasty side to him), vows to attack all their endorsed primary candidates: “I think we are going to crush them everywhere. I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”

Cheers to Congress for not being in session.

I’m looking forward to voting in the May 6th Ohio Primary. The ballot is short and not many people will vote, but I will officially make my statement at a new precinct.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Determined restaurant patrons tough it out on chilly patio
Parent surprised cruel teen daughter hasn’t pushed classmate to breaking point yet
Biologists confirm God evolved from chimpanzee deity
Area man mystified by layout of adjacent town’s grocery
Last living California Raisin dies of prostate cancer

Interesting Reads
Misery among MDs (Thanks Mouse for this, and thanks Carrie for approving)
Science and the word theory
Dog sex
Ten biggest earthquakes
Interactive map of U-2 boats in WW II

Bonus Reads: The week marked the Titanic’s 102nd anniversary, so here’s a collection of related articles.
Fascination with the Titanic (Smithsonian)
The Departure (Titanic-Titanic)
A news story before the movie (Newsday)
Queenstown: The last stop (Real Clear History)
A letter: a first-hand account (Telegraph)

On Potpourri
Earlier this week I saw a review of the book Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Although I am Christian, I absolutely agree – plus add this – science cannot prove God either.

As many we watching this week’s Blood Moon, snow clouds blocked Cincinnati’s view. Here’s an article from National Geographic about lunar myths from around the world.

Upon seeing a recipe with marshmallow earlier this week on a blog, I couldn’t resist asking if they used natural or synthetic marshmallows in the recipe. The blogger kindly responded synthetic – but all its ingredients are natural.

The grocery store headline from The Onion (above) reminds me how the growth (in size/space) of grocery stores over time. Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery retailer, recently published these stats regarding their average store size
1930s: 2,000 sq ft
1960s: 12,500 sq. ft
1980s: 42,000 sq. ft.
2000: 53,000 sq. ft.
2013: 61,000 sq. ft (their largest store in our area is 123,000 sq. ft)

This week marked the 35th anniversary of The Beast, a classic and the world longest wooden roller coast found at Kings Island amusement park near Cincinnati. After watching the report below, anyone wanting to take a ride can click here.

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In my musical events hear (such as Life: The Musical), I enjoy listening to the songs readers submit … thus encourage others to do so. Many thanks to all!

The Easter weekend means the handbell choir playing. Three songs this year, but here’s good recording of cheerful tones of Enduring Joy.

Given a major holiday weekend, the Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon series resumes next weekend.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Golf Day, Pet Owner’s Independence Day, Amateur Radio Ray, Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, Animal Crackers Day
  • (Sat) Auctioneers Day, Amaretto Day (Yes!), Husband Appreciation Day, Garlic Day, Hanging Out Day, Record Store Day
  • (Sun) Spring Astronomy Day, Look a Like Day, Plum Pudding Day, Food Day, Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day, Lima Bean Respect Day, Go Fly a Kite Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback to when I was in elementary school – the year is 1964, and the hit is Glad All Over by the Dave Clark Five. Enjoy, have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 135

On Politics
Last week I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech to a professional group of editors. It’s interesting how he compares President Obama to Candidate Obama – especially coming from him – the one who exceeds John Kerry’s flip-flops by a large margin.

Although I shook my head when I heard Hilary Rosen’s (CNN contributor) comment about Ann Romney, her next-day explanation was more pathetic.

President Obama recently stated the following in Chicago, “When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking.” If we was referring to global warming, that is not a good idea because any one who makes a comment about the weather at a given point in time in reference to global warming is giving a poor example for the support of or opposition to global warming.

Although national polls show President Obama leading Mitt Romney, let us not forget that the presidential election NOT a national vote, but a state-by-state proposition. In that light, last weekend’s Wall Street Journal had this interesting graphic regarding the election polls in key battleground states. Then again, much can change in the six months ahead.

Gotta love this one from The Onion: Gingrich asks Romney to Drop Out so He Can Focus on the General Election

Because someone should ask, here’s a question for Mitt Romney: You state President Obama prefers “European-style socialism.” Is this as opposed to American-style socialism?

Dork of the Year Nominees 

  • 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith for throwing himself into a partisan situation by assigning a homework assignment to the Justice Department.
  • Rep. Alan West (R-FL) for “.. there are 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party (in Congress) that are members of the Community Party.”
  • Hilary Rosen (as previously stated)

On Headlines from The Onion
Rapid Swelling Man May Contain Traces of Peanuts
Bomb-Sniffing Dog Humps Bomb-Defusing Robot
Promising 9-Pound Bass to Turn Pro
Coughed Ritz Cracker Dust Beautifully Illuminated by Glow of Television
Sweeping Labor reforms Allow Employees to Work in Inhumane Conditions from Home
U.N. Acquires Nuclear Weapon
Rod Stewart Mistaken for Elderly Aunt

Interesting Reads
Citizen United Part II
Crawling Out of the Deep Unemployment Hole
Interesting graphic relating cost to height in New York City
Ruth Marcus Disorder in the Court
Tennessee’s Monkey Bill
Science Also Belongs to the Religious

On Potpourri
Woo hoo! This week I received my first-ever shipment as a wine club member.

I recently heard this interesting analogy: We find our life between two parallel tracks, joy and sorrow – and our life journey fluctuates between the two.

I will post tomorrow for the weekend.

Agree with him or not; like him or not; Mike Wallace dedicated himself to broadcast journalism for 50+ years. Here’s a wonderful tribute from CBS.

Sadly, I see my Cincinnati Reds Finishing second in the division this year because of my worries of inconsistent hitting, especially from the right hand side of the plate – but I still say Go Reds.

This past Monday I featured a wonderful rendition of Nearest My God to Thee. It wasn’t until Bruce pointed it out that this was the hymn being played on the Titanic’s deck – and this is the 100th anniversary of that tragic event. In the memory and honor of those on the Titanic, I present the solemn version of Nearest My God to Thee … and this time knowingly.

Have a good weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Now I close with Monday’s more joyous version.