on a snowy day.....a special invitation.....have you ever been invited to meet a President? A Celtic Cross was to be dedicated in Portland.It was a day for the Victorian Concert....but we had to go......so we set up early in McMinville and ran off to Portland to meet the President of Ireland...the Beautiful and Gracious Mary McAleese......
We forgot the camera...we were interested in meeting her...in giving her a gift of John's CD that is called "Eire Isle of the Saints"...he wrote it in Ireland by the Ancient Celtic Christian Holy sites. Everyone loves this CD with it's haunting sounds and stories written in the liner notes of this most magical country...Ireland...So what do you do with no camera? Well sweet and darling little Molly was snapping pictures behind us during the speech of Pres. McAleese. I asked her if she would follow us and take our Picture with the Pres. Things happened so fast...only moments to talk...600 people behind in line to see her....little Molly did her best...but alas......Being creative we had her take our picture with Mary McAleese in the background....see we really were there....
Pretty Molly who by the way sang the American Anthem at the event with the President and her husband.
At the top of the parking lot as we left I snapped this photo. Made in Oregon sign was dressed up with it's stag and red nose for Christmas.
See the Irish Flag...at Kells around the corner as we drove an hour back to do the evening concert....
Mary was so lovely.....speaking words of blessing to all the Irish Immigrants at the reception and how they suffered and sent money home. How they multiplied and prospered and how the Irish heart hurt losing so many of it's own leaving to another land.....and how now there is joy that Irish people in the US love Ireland and how Ireland is prospering again...and is not smaller but bigger with its very own all over the world. She was so Thankful for the love of the Irish Immigrants and their ancestors. She blessed us for spreading the beauty of the Irish culture all over our land.
We just got this email from a person who came to John's Victorian Christmas concert that night after we met the President of Ireland Mary McAleese. Funny she talked about the Harp Ireland's national symbol!!! (You can see a video clip of John's shows and a interview..... Click Here)
Hello there Mr. Doan,
My name is Alice and we actually met at your christmas concert
the other night.
I just wanted to say that your program was very inspiring and
motivating. That is so interesting to see how life has changed from
then and now, how people were brought together through playing
instruments and now how people are brought together by going to watch
(instead of playing).
I have a confession. So just very recently in the past year, I have
fallen in love with the harp. Listening to the Celtic Women and then
also a friend in Texas had one in her living room. The moment I saw
it, I was awestruck and rendered completely silent. And to hear a
harp, oh my! It has such a pure and beautiful sound! Anyway, why this
is relevant, I will share with you. =) I have wanted to try harp
lessons, just to try it you know? Sometimes I get myself down though,
I talk myself out of things. I tend to be very hard and critical on
myself. Lately though, I have been learning to be thankful for what I
do have and to just enjoy the moment and good things instead of the
bad (for example, I take voice lessons here and that can be extremely
frustrating). What is frustrating is not having one particular thing
I am good at and that I love. I dabble in things, such as different
styles of art and music as well as sports. But I don't have ONE thing
that I am particularly good at and want to stick with. For instance,
I went to my first ballet the other night, how marvelous that was!
But some people have these remarkable gifts/talents which are so
amazing, and so often I find myself wondering if I have one specific
thing I am good at. But what I have been learning is that .....that
is okay if I don't. =) I don't know if any of this makes sense or
not, but I wanted to give some context to why your concert was sooo
encouraging. I have been interested to play the harp, and your
program inspired me to want to pursue that....even if I am not a
natural or I become really really good, but just to do it and share
the experience with people, to perhaps get to the point to play a song
would be amazing!
What it comes down to is, I was so taken by the idea that people back
then, played to play, to have fun (some competitive) but at Christmas
especially, just played to bring people together. It wasn't a
competition to see who was better then who. I get caught up in
competition, wanting to be the best in all that I do, and getting
frustrated when I am not (but don't get me wrong, I am not a bitter
person like I am sounding right now! =) ) Anyway, thanks so much, I
cannot wait for next year when I can see if harp lessons is a
possibility. Thanks again for the beautiful concert, and the
inspiration to embrace the moments we share/have with people.