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Former '61 Country' personality at home in Ireland

What are you planning to do when you retire?

Phil Young, lifelong Missourian and longtime WDAF "61 Country" personality, moved.

To Ireland.

Which is remarkable in itself, even more so since Young claims scant little Irish heritage.

"My mother's side is Swedish and my father's is Scottish-Irish, so I can claim some family link to the auld sod," Phil writes from Killarney, County Kerry. "I believe I would feel very much at home here even if my family all came from Siberia."

The move came last July. Young, who had spent all his life in Richmond, Missouri, living and working in Kansas City, started making trips to Ireland in 1989. "Kerry has always been my favorite place here. I think it's the most beautiful county in Ireland, and the green mountains outside my front door reinforce that feeling every day. I have lots of good friends here in Killarney, including all the lads at Jack C's pub on High Street (famous for having more guys named Seamus than any pub in the world) and the many people I've come to know around town.

"It's a wonderful feeling walking down the street and having people call me by name and stop for a quick laugh. I honestly believe Ireland leads the world in friendly, laughing people. A friend of mine visiting from America said, 'Everything's funny here.'"

He made the move across the ocean as painless as possible, selling most everything he had. Still, it was a hard call to make, but so far, he figures, the right one.

"I miss my friends in America, my co-workers at '61 Country,' the Mizzou games (Mike DeArmond, another great fan of Ireland, keeps me filled in on-line) and more, but I have great friends here, too. I figure if I want to return to the United States, I will. For now, though, I couldn't be more relaxed and comfortable. If you're in Killarney, stop in at Jack C's. The owners, Joan and Seamus O'Shea, pull a great pint."

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