The Society of Irish Women is a group of about 100 that was founded in the 1990s because the local chapter of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick did not permit women at its own events. (That organization, which has been around since 1906, allowed its first female members in 2016, 110 years after its founding.)
“Women were sitting here and watching their husbands go in their tuxedos to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Kingsley said. “They decided to start their own group. But men are allowed at our dinner.”
Clinton has roots in Scranton: Her grandfather came to Scranton when he was 3 years old, the son of a family of coal miners who left England “searching for a better life and more opportunity.” Her grandfather would work at a lace mill in the area from the time he was a teenager until the day of his retirement.
“The house that my grandfather built did not have indoor plumbing,” Clinton said. “So, don’t tell anybody this, we’d go down to the lake.”
Her father, meanwhile, “hopped a freight train” to Chicago dreaming of bigger opportunities — “I don’t recommend this,” she added, and would sell textiles before going to fight on the front lines of World War II.
The reactions were interesting, to say the least!
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