Sunday, March 15, 2009

Erin go bah humbug

For as long as I can remember I've been a St. Paddy's Day Scrooge. It probably began when my grandmother made me wear an enormous "Kiss me I'm Irish" button back in third grade.

I have to admit having attended many St. Patrick's Day Parades back in the day. My first and most memorable was in 1976, Richard J. Daley's last one. Actually got a picture or two of Hizzoner, you can tell by his bright red face somewhere way off in the crowd.

It was also one of the last St. Paddy's Day parades on State Street, before they closed it off to build the State Street Mall.

There was something to all the hoopla and tradition to the Downtown parade, the playing of "When Mayor Daley leads the Parade Down State Street", the green river, the show of political force. It was the Chicago version of May Day in Red Square.

It probably still is except I never go anymore. There's something lacking in parades on Columbus Drive, although I understand the reasons for having them there. And of course the obilgatory displays of public drunkenness, exacerbated by the parade now being held on the weekend, gets a little tiresome.

Oh well maybe I should just lighten up and pour myself a Guinness. Except that I've given up drinking for Lent.

Ah now we're getting somewhere!

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