by Cori Hilsgen
On St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated March 17, many people like to claim their Irish heritage so they can participate in the many “wearing of the green” and “luck of the Irish” ceremonies.
These festivities include everything from meals of corn beef and cabbage, green beer and more.
St. Joseph residents Kristi and Peter Spaniol are part Irish and consider themselves fortunate to have met each other. Peter is one-half Irish. His mother was an O’Malley and was a full Irish descendent. Kristi is one-fourth Irish. Her mother was a Burns and was one-half Irish.
The Spaniols met on St. Patrick’s Day 1984, at O’Hara’s Brothers Pub in St. Cloud.
Kristi’s sister Amy invited Kristi and Peter’s brother Matt invited Peter to go out for green beer to celebrate the holiday. Once they arrived at the pub, Amy and Matt saw each other and visited. A common friend of theirs, Paul Daniel, was also at the table with the Spaniol brothers. Daniel introduced Kristi and Peter and the two visited for about 10 minutes that day.
Kristi went home and woke her mom up to tell her she had just met the man she was going to marry. Peter and Kristi went on their first date two weeks later. Three months after meeting, the two became engaged and soon got married on Oct. 19, 1984.
“Each St. Patrick’s Day is a special day with the wonderful memory of meeting my spouse,” Kristi said.
“Every day is St. Patrick’s Day with my spouse,” Peter said.
Each year on St. Patrick’s Day, since the two met, they celebrate the holiday by drinking one green beer as they did that first night. They also make a green breakfast of green pancakes, green milk and green eggs. For evening dinner they traditionally cook corned beef and cabbage.
Kristi and Peter, who have lived in Pleasant Acres for 23 years, have five children who include Ben, Tom and daughter-in-law Alissa, Wil, Jake, Kelli and a Shih Tzu dog named Ringo.