Recently Jim Cahill, Managing Partner of Pocono Manor Investors, was blessed with what he calls “one of the greatest honors of my life.” Jim was just named as Grand Marshal for the upcoming 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Burgs. “I am third generation here in the United States,” he said. “For them to elect me as Grand Marshal has truly left me in awe. I was shocked to hear that I was nominated, and humbled when they told me that I was selected.”
Jim’s roots in the Poconos run deep. Growing up in the 1970’s just north of Bushkill, his family’s homestead was taken by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Tocks Island Dam Project. The area is now the Delaware Water Gap National Park.
One of Jim’s first jobs was working in Wyckoff’s garage on Quaker Alley in Stroudsburg. In those early years, his family drove south to town for all their food and clothes shopping.
In 2005, he was part of the group that purchased Pocono Manor and was an applicant for one of the casino licenses. Jim served as a board member and officer of Women’s Resources of Monroe County for many years; currently serves as a Board Member of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau; and is a member of the Monroe County Historical Society.
Always curious about his Irish heritage, Jim says his journey began in earnest with his first family trip to Ireland in 1988. “So many things that had been mysteries of my personality just seemed to fall into place and make sense in Ireland,” he notes. “From my spiritual beliefs to the strange taste in music that I had (my friends would make fun of me because I would have a bluegrass tape right next to an Allman Brothers tape); even down to my sense of humor and my gift of gab, it all fell into place.” When he returned home, he continued the quest to learn more about his heritage and joined the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Morris County NJ where he lived at the time (he has since and for many years been a resident of the Poconos).
By now he’s been to the motherland seven times, the latest being for last year’s 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising (the initial rebellion that led the independence of the Republic of Ireland). “I was part of a delegation that presented the Lord Mayor of Dublin herself with a replica flag that George Washington’s Irish troops used to celebrate the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade we had as an independent nation in 1779.”
Jim calls the Pocono Irish-American Club (PIAC) St. Patrick’s Day Parade “the coming-out event of the Poconos after a long winter. The pent-up energy of the entire community looking forward to spring is amazing.” The parade features people on their motorcycles and antique cars after their long winter naps; families waving as the cars go by, throwing out candy to the kids who scoop it up quickly. “I have always been proud to be a part of it for the past several years here in the Poconos. Supporting the groups goes without saying. All of the groups that I have had the privilege of dealing with would do just about anything to support anyone and the community here in the Poconos.”
Good weather is hoped for on the day of the parade, March 18th. Says Jim, “I look forward to all the friendly faces and kids smiling along Main Street and Washington Street as we all are ‘Irish for the day.’”
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