It's a very windy St. Patrick's Day here in Rhode Island. We had some nice weather earlier in the week and we are supposed to have a sunny and cool weekend, but coming to work this morning the temperature was barely reaching the mid-30's, very light rain, not too much more than a drizzle, but it was audible when the gusts of wind slammed it against my car, a few white specks mixed with the rain, almost white knuckle driving over the bridges.
Last Saturday brought the St. Patick's Day Parade and major league partying in Newport, somewhat dampened by wet, raw New England March weather. Thinking back over St. Patrick's Days over the years, the ones that I can connect with weather all seem to have not been mild and sunny.
St. Patrick's Day in 1960, I was a junior in high school. White bucks had been popular couple years earlier and I still had an old pair. What are white bucks? the younger crowd here might ask. They were white (duh) shoes with a kind of textured leather, almost as if fabric had been glued over the leather (although I think it was done by scrubbing/scuffing the surface of the leather)... I remember some kind of powdered stuff we would use to clean and whiten them (kind of like baby powder) although I think there was also some kind of white liquid you could paint on also. Somehow I came up with the idea of taking these old shoes and painting them green for St.Patrick's Day. My girlfriend also found an old pair of white shoes and we got together the night before and painted them. It snowed overnight, not a major storm, but there was an inch or two of fresh snow on the ground when we gathered at the bus stop (City transit system bus, not a yellow school bus)... The paint on our shoes apparently was not a water-proof paint, because there were faint green rims around our footprints in the fresh snow. Our green shoes, however, were a bit hit with everyone at school.
By the way, I'm wearing a green sweater over a green and white striped dress shirt... and when I worked out at the Y today (five minutes on stair climber, a bit over three miles on the treadmill, and a few minutes workout with handweights) I was wearing a green t-shirt and a green sweatband and green socks.
St. Patrick's Day 1991, Sean was in Kindergarten at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Binghamton, NY. [We were not Catholic, but when Jennifer had been Kindergarten age the public schools only had half day programs and when we visited St.Thomas Aquinas we fell in love with the school. Jennifer enjoyed her year there and, although she moved to public school for first grade, when it came time for Sean to start school there was no question in our minds that we wanted him to attend St. Thomas.] Children in the Catholic school system and their parents were invited to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, Sean wanted to do it, so off we went on a blustery Saturday morning. We had to park a few blocks away from the point where the Catholic schools contingent was to assemble. Given the large number of schools involved, there were a lot of people, although there were far fewer representatives of his Kindergarten class than I had anticipated. We stood around, listening to the marching bands and then, eventually, it became our turn to start marching. The parade route was westbound along Court Street, the main street through the downtown business district in Binghamton, past the Court House, past the downtown stores and office buildings, across the bridge over the Chenango River, whereupon the street name changed to Main Street and the businesses became correspondingly more modest. It was very interesting to march in the parade (I don't believe that I had ever done that before). Sean was quite excited, waving to the people along the parade route and having them wave back at us. The parade ended a few blocks down Main Street at the Ancient Order of Hybernians Lodge. There were some after-parade activites there and also at Seton-Catholic Central High School (formed by a merger of Seton High and Catholic Central High, and commonly known as "Seton Catholic") where we stopped for a soda and snack. (Fortunately, this was on the way to our house.) Altogether we probably covered almost three miles if you count the walking to and from the parade. Not bad for a Kindergarten kid. Of course then I got to jog a mile and a half or so to where I had left my car.
That was the only St. Patrick's Day parade we marched in, although the kids and I would go and watch most years. (Yeah, I do like to watch parades.)
The weather today seems to be keeping in this blustery St.Patrick's Day mode... When I went down to the Y at lunchtime to workout, the temperature had dropped below freezing (and the wind chill must have been well down there with those wind gusts) and the grassy areas had been whitened by a coating of snow and ice. I had to scrape the front and back windows of my car.
Dinner tonight will be corned beef. Yes, there will be cabage, but raw not cooked, probably in the form of coleslaw. Baked potatoes. Marbled rye bread. A variety of spicy mustards. (Love to eat corned beef on marbled rye with a horseradish mustard). And some nice cold beer (Killian's).
Happy St. Patrick's Day!