Some Thoughts About St. Patrick’s Day

  • On March 17th, there are only two kinds of people in the world:  those of us who are Irish; and those of you who wish you were.

  • My grandparents all came from County Limerick and County Mayo.  So I qualify, okay?  In fact, I’’ve never made a point of wearing green on St. Patrick’’s Day because it’’s that obvious.  And, if it weren’’t that obvious, two of my uncles were named Cornelius and Robert Emmet.  Moreover, one of my aunts and one of my uncles were born on March 17th.

  • When I was a young child, my grandparents and their relatives from the Old Sod used to say things like, “Up Limerick,” and “Up Mayo.”  We kids thought it really funny when someone from County Down arrived and yelled, “Up Down!”  I always wondered, but never found out exactly where County Yours is.

  • If you asked my grandparents what nationality they were, any of the four of them would have told you (in a brogue, of course) that they were Americans.  If you asked their children what nationality they were, all of them (in a New York accent, of course) would have told you they were Irish, not Irish-American, Irish.

  • My mother’’s father came to the USA, like many immigrants, through Ellis Island.  He is the only man with his name who is listed in their records as a woman.  This proves that clerical errors are nothing new.

  • My mother’’s mother couldn’’t show me how to write anything in Gaelic because when she was in school, teaching Gaelic was forbidden by law.  I can say, “”Kiss my ass,”” in Gaelic.  In fact, it’s the only thing I know how to say in Gaelic, but I can’’t prove it here because I can’’t spell it.  I’’m not convinced anyone can spell anything in Gaelic or Welsh either for that matter

  • The Irish invented bagpipes as a military weapon, to scare people:  it works.

  • My father was in the crew that painted the first legal green line up New York’’s Fifth Avenue for a St. Patrick’’s Day Parade.  A bunch of guys got drunk and did it illegally for some years before the City of New York adopted the custom.

  • Family lore says one of my great aunts won a newspaper essay contest by writing a first-person account of being on the RMS Carpathia when it was the first ship to arrive on the scene as the Titanic sank.  She did come to the USA from Ireland on the Carpathia, just not on the trip when the ship rescued survivors from the Titanic.

  • My wife makes soda bread every year.  She’s not the only baker of soda bread who doesn’t like caraway seeds, but because she doesn’’t, I don’t get any caraway seeds in mine.  She got her recipe from someone who must have been much wealthier than my mother’’s mother was.  Hers is rich and very good, but I don’’t think it’’s too authentic.

  • I recommend drinking your Irish coffee black, with no coffee.

  • I contend that vendetta is a Gaelic word, not an Italian one.  After all, how many Italian people do you know who’’ve been fighting the same losing war for more than 900 years?  How many Irish people do you know like that?

  • I didn’’t kiss the Blarney Stone; we had a meaningful, long-term relationship.

  • Blarney is a much nicer word than bullshit.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.