Friday, March 17, 2006

The Wearing of the Green

On March 17, 1762 it is believed that a small group of Irish people marched through the streets of New York to the inn of John Marshall at Mount Pleasant to celebrate the life of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. Perhaps a few New Yorkers took notice of this modest procession. It's unlikely that any of the marchers or those that observed them could have dreamed they had just witnessed the traditional first marching of the largest annual parade in the world.

Joseph E. Gannon, The Wild Geese Today

That's a long parade of parades - 245 years worth. And on a crisp, clear morning in 1969, I donned the dress blue JROTC uniform of St. Francis Xavier High School and proudly strode down Fifth Avenue in tribute to my forebearers. From 44th Street north past St. Patrick's Catherdral, where to our youthful cheers Terrence Cardinal Cook extended his blessing. Up past the Met we marched, smart and straight through the stone canyons bouyed by the pipes and the roar of a million voices. Twenty-six blocks Thirty eight blockswe marched, bursting with pride in our faith and in our heritage. Twenty-sixThirty eight blocks of fame and glory that still tickles me today.

And all of it spent directly behind the NYPD Mounted Patrol. My dress shoes were never the quite same.

See you there again , someday.

Bain taithneamh as an deireadh seachtaine.


Cassandra said...

Happy St. Pat's.

spd rdr said...


katie's brain said...

Best blog name I've seen in eons. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Anonymous said...

Here's a tall cold one to you, ya old spud rider.

-"Don Brouhaha"

Portia O'Connor said...

We'll be waiting for you, spd.

Plenty of Irish eyes smiling today. It was a grand day for a parade and while I allowed no green beer to pass my lips, I can't say the same for my blouse thanks to the over-friendly "wannabe Irishman" standing next to me. G*d damn, amateurs:)

Today's toast:

May the frost never afflict your spuds.
May the leaves of your cabbage always be free from worms.
May the crows never pick your haystack.
And may your donkey always be in foal

Or something like that....
Time to break open the Jamesons.

spd rdr said...


Pile On® said...

Late to the party, but...