Photos courtesy of Stacy McReynolds Photography
Growing up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Mike grew up with blarney all around him and quickly realized the importance of his Irish heritage in family life. Spending many a waking hour at the feet of his parents, Mike and Kay, at the original Irish Family Days, IAHC planning meetings, or Irish festivals and concerts, he really couldn't escape it. And with every St. Patrick's Day being a school-free holiday to be spent in the Downtown Parade, he enjoyed the perks of being Irish as well!
Mike's first trip to The Emerald Isle as a child was a true family affair with aunts, uncles and cousins in attendance. Visiting the ancestral homes of his grandparents in Mayo and Galway, he holds among his most vivid memories the lovely jaunting cart rides through the Irish countryside, running for his life from an angry bull on the fields of Mayo, the morning dew on Crough Patrick, running faster still for his life from a rabid bat in the halls of a Killarney "haunted" hotel, and the neck-straining kiss of the Blarney Stone.
Mike's dad had the gift of gab and took it to the airwaves with The Irish American Heritage Hour for most of the 1980's and 90's in support of the Irish American Heritage Center and the Irish community in Chicago. Mike Jr., along with his brother, Tim, helped out with the show during the latter years of its run.
For most of his adult life, Mike has been an active volunteer at the Irish American Heritage Center, serving on the Board of Directors and as part of the annual Irish Festival, iBAM and Irish American Hall of Fame committees.
It is with great pride that he carries on the family radio tradition. Mike and his wife, Linda, live in Arlington Heights with their not-so-wee ones, Micayla and Andrew and cats, The Roosevelts, Frank and Theo.
Raised on Chicago's Southside with an Irish Catholic upbringing, Tim was in touch with his Irish roots at an early age. Tim's father, Patrick, grew up in the predominantly Irish neighborhood of Beverly, in Chicago's Southwest side. The annual homage to the Southside Irish Parade along with the newly opened Gaelic Park in the early 1980's were Taylor family rituals. Tim grew up singing Irish ballads by the Irish Rovers, Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers from his father's old juke box that played 45's.
As the family genealogist, Tim traced his roots back to the small village of Ballingarry, Limerick, Ireland. On Tim's first visit to Ballingarry, while searching for the local church cemetery of his ancestors, he had the misfortune of a head-on collision (they drive on the wrong side of the road, you know!) with some local County Limerick residents. That unfortunate experience exposed Tim to the kind-hearted and caring nature of the Irish people.
Tim's roots originated from Monaghan, Louth, and Limerick and later settled into the City's southside in the Holy Angels and St. Gabriel parishes, and eventually moving further south to Beverly's St. Cajetan Parish where is his family has a rich history.
Tim graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a degree in Marketing and is a Sales Professional in the printing industry. Tim is also an active Board Member and volunteer at the Irish American Heritage Center serving on the Irish Fest and Irish American Hall of Fame Committees.
Tim's entrée into the radio world began when he and Mike Shevlin filled in on the Mike O'Connor Show. That opportunity led to the formation of Windy City Irish Radio.
Tim lives in Chicago's Portage Park neighborhood, with his wife, Pamela, who happens to be the Chair of the Irish American Hall of Fame. When you marry the Chair, you are on the committee!