Thursday, March 17, 2005

ST. PATRICK DAY MEMORIES

 

You could most certainly say I live a charmed life!

A few moments ago I was sending a submission to FOUND MAGAZINE. I have had in my possession this particular found "note" for a year or so, always misplacing it, always finding it, then misplacing it again. Intending to put it in a safe place, I opened up a cigar box I keep "stuff" in (It will most certainly be lost again) and laying on top was this old cutting from the local newspaper!

Oh how I remember this night! And all the nights that my mother dressed me up as an Irish Colleen and paraded me around commanding I do the Irish Jig like a trained monkey. I hated it! I hated practicing for the upcoming St. Patrick Day shows that were inevitable!

That year was my last performance. I think I was 12 (the hairdo, pre-shag Beatle cut) and suffering the humiliation for the final time. This was the annual Fashion Show that the local stores would put on to introduce all the latest Spring Fashions. We were the intermission entertainment.

My Dad sang all the time. He was a member of the Barbershop Quartet, the song leader in church, and sang at all occasions. He loved to sing, and had a sweet tenor voice. When I was a kid, it totally embarrassed me. I was different to begin with. Not a whole lot of northerners settled in the small rural farming towns  in central Kentucky back in the early sixties, let alone Irish jigging and singing Catholics from New York City!! All I wanted was to fit in and be like everyone else.

That never happened. My parents made sure of that.

As the years pass by I find that my strongest memories of embarrassment due to my parents, are also the most precious gifts I have received from them. Pride of being Irish and Catholic.

The last time my Dad performed in public was at my sister wedding in 1992. She married a German named Daniel. My Dad stood and sang the sweetest version of Danny Boy he had ever delivered.

It was the final time.

What I would give to be "embarrassed" by his spontaneous serenading today.  

21 comments:

martinsek5 said...

Awww that's so sweet.   Pamela

yakima127 said...

Oh...what wonderful memories!  We never appreciate the good things in life as a kid...but you are very blessed to have been a "monkey" as a child, and to have such a talented father...JAE

belfastcowboy75 said...

I can just about hear him, Mary.

my78novata said...

wow I Hope that my kids will look fondly back at my embarrsing them one day. Thanks for the story igves me hope Lori

spurgins311 said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you to. :)

Loved those pictures.

Sharon

nellemclaughlin said...

Isn't it strange how we have such different perceptions. My best childhood friend, Cathy Monahan had parents from Ireland. I wanted to go to St. Thomas School and my parents vetoed that. I would have loved to take Irish dancing lessons! To this day when I go to our elaborate church St. Patrick's Day dance I envy the people who can do the jig! I can still hear my Uncle's voice in my head singing Harrigan. I love the Irish music. I love Celtic names, words and knotwork. Let's face it, we were both blessed.:)

karensull12 said...

Great pictures and memories.

lisaram1955 said...

Well said!  Lisa  :-]

dcmeyer420 said...

Almost peed in my pants laughing when I read the part where you were commanded to "do the Irish Jig like a trained monkey."  I love reading your journal because you are a highly evolved wordsmith.

suzypwr said...

Nice entry!
xoxo

txsguinan said...

Oh, how sad and beautiful.  

I know just what you mean.  I'd give anything to to hear my Dad sing "You Are My Sunshine" to me just one more time, too.  

ryanagi said...

Mary getting jiggy! LOL cool! I am, er, Irish by association. I'm adopted, but I was raised by an Irish Catholic family. My best friend was Irish Catholic too. LOL She dubbed me an honorary Irishman years ago. I think it still counts. ;-)

hope5555 said...

Very cool memory. I love the newspaper clipping. What a cutie! :)

delela1 said...

Yes, some of those embarrassing memories do turn out to be our most cherished...and some do not.  LOL!  Loved reading this.  Perfect.  ~Dona

njlittlebear said...

Great Entry ... Great Memories huh !

NJLB
http://journals.aol.com/njlittlebear/MyBigFatGeekLife

deabvt said...

Wonderful! {My Irish Mom married a German!}
V

sunnyside46 said...

isn't it funny... the things you miss  most...my dad used to warm up blankets over the floor furnace when it was cold...he's been gone over 20 years & that is a memory that comes back to me.
Marti
http://journals.aol.com/sunnyside46/MidlifeMusings

chapterxxi said...

You go girl!  You may do all of your embarrassing moments over again if you'd like, but me, I am forever going to leave them alone.  Yeah, they've strengthened me, and perhaps I am guilty of performing the same stunts on my children, but to put myself back into that place, during that time ...uh unh!  Never will forget the time my grandmother told a beautiful visiting minister to pray for me because I had demons - embarrassing?  No, I was livid, I was 12, and I never saw the benefit of such disclosure.  Besides, I don't have demons!
Race

mrccgoody said...

What wonderful St.Patrick's day memories, thank you for sharing!

chasenkids said...

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE your journal! I wait till I have a good snack and it is quiet to read your blog. I purposely wait until you have about four new entries before I start reading so I have more to read!

Awesome, truly awesome!

~Jaime
JaimeChase.com

jayveeconcerto said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful Irish memories, Mary!. Gosh, I remember the pre-shag Beatle cut - all of my female cousins had it!