Toppa the Mornin' to ya Gentle Readers,
Show of Hands? How many of you know why it's called a Paddy Wagon?
Years before TWC's vagrant yoot we had family friends that were turkey ranchers. The Patriarch spoke with a heavy Irish brogue that may as well have been a foreign language as it was entirely unintelligible to me.
Reading Frank McCourt's book a few years ago, I was reminded that Old Man Porter once told me that a prosperous family in Ireland after the Big War owned two bicycles.
That particular gem was entirely lost on me, but I loved his 1959 Cadillac with the bullet taillights, the 1959 El Camino with the 348, and the turkey egg that invariably found its way home with me after every visit. For the uninitiated, turkey eggs are pretty much chicken eggs on a Barry Bonds diet. Nothing exotic, they're just big. Fry them over-medium with a little butter, salt and pepper and serve with bacon, toast, and cold milk.
Three generations ago, Mrs TWC's off-the-boat Irish grandfather married her off-the-reservation Indian grandmother. And although every year Mrs TWC fixes up the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage just right for St Paddy, you'd be hard pressed to find that dish on any holiday table on the Emerald Isle. You won't find any raucous St Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland either, for the day is a subdued and reverent occasion. At least on the green side. I don't think the orange side pays much attention to it.
Here in America, we'll blow out the doors. Like so much else that makes this America, we have embraced this Irish festivity in a style that is uniquely our own. Shamrocks, leprechauns, and a lot of racket (old-country Irish slang for an old fashioned welcome-to-the-neighborhood party) fill our celebrations as we gulp green beer or dye our hair green to match the Chicago River.
The Wine O’Commonsewer