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Volume 16, No. 7 - November 23, 2009


-- Travel & Literature --

McCourt lives on in Limerick

By Marese Heffernan in LIMERICK, Ireland – At the age of 19, Frank McCourt left is hometown of Limerick and set sail to follow a life of dreams in America. It was there that he created his life, wrote his first masterpiece, Angela’s Ashes, reached the heights of fame and notability and most importantly, shared his incredible story with the world.

It was in New York City that Frank McCourt died last July, far from the town of so many of his childhood memories.

McCourt may have left Limerick long ago, but he took the time to make it known to the world that Limerick never left him.

In an interview with Limerick newspaper The Limerick Leader just a year before his death, McCourt revealed his feelings of having never reconciled himself fully with the “turbulent relationship” he felt with the city.

His brother Malachy told the newspaper that thoughts of Limerick had preoccupied his mind until the very day of his death, reminding us of what an extraordinary and rather unfathomable impact the city had on his life.

For me, having grown up in Limerick city just as McCourt did, I find myself somewhat unnerved both by his death and by his feelings towards his childhood town.   Read whole story


The River Shannon in Limerick, Ireland

Love literature? Don't miss the story of a 17-year-old evacuee in Louisiana. Read Samantha Perez's heartbreaking, wonderful

Hurricane Journal


Invasion of the Lego people, large and small

By Francis Byrne, Yelena Samofalova and Mary Majerus-Collins in HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. -- It’s cool to see a whole bunch of Legos.

In normal life, it’s impossible to see creations involving tens of thousands of Legos, but this weekend’s Lego Kidsfest at the Connecticut Convention Center offered more than a kid can imagine.

The event was “cool and nice and creative,” said Louis Campbell, 12, of Horal Park, New York.

Livnette Negron, 15, of London, Connecticut, who came with her family, said the festival was “pretty good” and she liked the big sculptures.

She said she didn’t have a favorite from among the many Lego displays because she liked everything she saw.

Though the festival included an excess of advertising and merchandising that had nothing to do with Legos – and too crowded and loud, too -- the stuff involving the famous plastic bricks proved it could please the crowd.     Read whole story


New England Lego Users build big scenes from small bricks

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins and Clare Hern in HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A.  -- Towering skyscrapers and city trains. An amusement park.  Cafes and parks, even a marching band, all made out of Legos?

Yes, at the Lego KidsFest in Hartford. While geared toward kids, adults made most of the displays.

The largest and most impressive of these Lego displays, which ranged from a life-sized Darth Vader to Sponge Bob, were the two tables displayed by the New England Lego Users Group, a group for adults that love to build with Legos. “We’re just a club; we do this as a hobby. We all have real jobs,” said longtime member Joe Comeau, who said he “primarily builds amusement park rides.”

The New England group’s display featured a motorized amusement park – complete with whirling teacups and a dragon with flapping wings – houses and buildings and a train running throughout.

Some of the buildings were several feet tall, and included clear plastic Lego windows. One had two towers connected by a mostly clear walkway, many stories above the ‘ground.’   Read whole story






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