Toppa the Mornin' to ya Gentle Readers,
In the early years of TWC's vagrant yoot my parents befriended an Irish immigrant family that were turkey ranchers. The Patriarch's thick Irish brogue may as well have been a foreign language as it was entirely unintelligible to me.
Old Man Porter sometimes told stories about the old country. Many times he observed that a prosperous family in post-war Ireland owned *two* bicycles. The magnitude of the gap between Irish living standards and ours was something that simply did not compute.
The Porters had no trouble comprehending the prosperity gap and in my wide-eyed vagrant yoot, they seemed to be millionaires. When color TV was in its infancy and the picture quality was abysmal, I marveled at the faded and weak colors of the NBC Peacock in their living room. I loved the '59 Caddy with the tail fins and bullet taillights, but my favorite was Old Man Porter's 1959 El Camino.
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 many 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
Photo Credit: TWC 03-12-2011 ©
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