Holyokers really take phrase “Irish hospitality” to new heights. Prized among the many gifts I received are a tartan scarf (Holyoke has its own tartan designed by Gerald Healy), a shillelagh, an Irish shawl from Cooper’s, and an autographed picture of Don Larsen’s perfect game.
I don’t know if Don Larsen, the Yankee pitcher who threw the no-hitter in 1956 World Series between the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers, had any Irish roots, but his autographed photo, given to me by Dan Walsh, now has pride of place in my office. It is a reminder that sometimes miracles do happen, or maybe, in the case of those Irish immigrants to Holyoke, miracles didn’t so much happen as they were made.
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