May the luck of the Irish be with you

March 16, 2017 at 7:18 p.m.
Updated March 17, 2017 at 6 a.m.

The expression "the luck of the Irish" isn't as friendly as it seems.

It was an expression used in the second half of the 19th century to refer to the good fortune of Irish settlers, as if to say, "Only by sheer luck, as supposed to brains, could these fools succeed," according to IrishCentral.com, a website that referenced the book "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History."

Thanks to this good fortune from the Irish, Victoria and the Crossroads region continue to thrive as a cattle- and oil-driven economic hub.

Thomas O'Connor, whose descendants continue to be leaders in our region, sailed to Texas with his uncle, James Power, in 1834. O'Connor was among the first to defend La Bahia and one of the first to sign the Goliad Declaration of Independence.

He married Mary Fagan, whose dowry included cattle and horses, in October 1838.

O'Connor was also the first rancher in Refugio County to fence with barbed wire.

He acquired more than 500,000 fenced acres and 100,000 cattle in Refugio, Aransas, Goliad, San Patricio, McMullen and La Salle counties.

O'Connor and other settlers drove out the Karankawa Indians and he won a contested election for commissioner of Refugio County in 1848.

Dennis M. O'Connor, son of Thomas, a multimillionaire known for his generous nature, made significant contributions to the Republican Party. He gave President William McKinley a mounted longhorn head ornamented with diamonds.

Be it luck or hard work, the luck of the Irish has certainly brought good fortune to Victoria's economic vitality.

To celebrate the legacy of the Irish in the Crossroads, check out MD Shenanigans Festival at Dodge City on Saturday afternoon.

The event will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation.

Video jockey Bigg Robb will be spinning tunes and live music performances by Easy Daze Band, Worm Suicide, Crowbars the Band, Ambient, Something Called Nothing, Broke and Disorderly, Hi-Tone Prowlers and Element are included.

There will also be a chugging contest, a beard contest and a pinup contest. All contest winners will win a gift certificate from Top Tattoos.

Artwork will be up for auction and Enjuns Car Club and IDK Food Truck will also be there.

But if you're looking for something more family-friendly, Victoria Public Library is hosting a St. Patrick's Day Craft event Friday, where you can make your own lighted shamrock card. Supplies will be provided.

Either way, may the luck of the Irish be with you.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.


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