Around Town: A family birthday, Kirby Fest and a trip to Greece

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When you grow up in an Irish Catholic family, you get used to the beers, the tears, the jovial ribbing – and so much more that comes with being so tightly knit.

The slight jabs are the best, because you never know which uncle, sibling or cousin is going to serve up the most clever dig.

Thursday night, our family celebrated my Uncle John Maloney’s birthday at Andy Perugino’s in Luzerne.

My uncle Jim gave a short speech, reminding us why we were there, and thanking his older brother for always defending him in the schoolyard and looking out for him on the baseball field.

Uncle John is humble, yet strong; quiet, but full of life; relaxed, but constantly doing things.

He’s a pretty special guy.

My Mom was blessed with older brothers who were like father figures to me growing up. Their dedication to our family, good nature, and caring ways always inspired me.

They taught me to keep my word, look someone straight in the eye when speaking, and know who my true friends are.

They’ve always been right in my book. Thanks to them, I’ve learned so much.

That really was the highlight of my week, since as my cousins and I have gotten older, it’s harder and harder to get together.

The other big event of the week was Kirby Fest last Saturday night at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.

Benefiting the Young People’s Theater Series, the event had a slew of vendors, including breweries, restaurants and wineries.

Musical acts, which played at the Kirby’s top level and in the basement, included K8, PaulSko, Jamie Anzalone of County Lines, Dymond Cutter, and Rockology Music Academy students.

A silent auction with memorabilia from past Kirby performances was held as well. Unfortunately, my bid on the Ron White autographed photo wasn’t enough to win, but whoever did got a memorable photo of the veteran comic.

Kudos to the Kirby Center for hosting yet another well-run event. Seems every event I attend there is better than the last, and this was no exception. It was clear attendance from both participants and vendors was up from last year.

Yay, Kirby. Well done, folks.

On another note, if you’re around town this week, you won’t see me.

No, it’s not that I’m avoiding you or I’m balking on my around town duties.

I’m simply on a scheduled week-long vacation in Greece.

We flew into Athens overnight (Saturday night through this morning) and are heading on a little cruise to the Greek Islands – Santorini, Crete and Mykonos.

I’ve been excited about this trip for months.

Since I’ve never been overseas like this, I’m hoping to soak up as much of the culture and experience as I can.

And hopefully, I’ll have some good stories to share when I’m back.

Send me a note and let me know about your favorite cruise or overseas trip. I’ll be checking e-mail sporadically and would love to hear from you.

Have a great week.

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Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.

Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.