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ST. PATRICK’S DAY MEMORIES Why March Is a Special Time of the Year
March is a great time of year for me. As a Chicago native and St. Patty’s Day fanatic, it’s always fun to watch the river turn Kelly green and celebrate with my friends and family. And just to top it off, March brings back memories of the day Teresa and I met, and also of the births of our sons, Jake and Joey. I have lived downtown for most of my life. Back in the day, Chicago hosted the St. Patrick’s Day parade on the actual holiday, and my family attended every year. We started the celebration right by the river at the 300 Marina Club so we could watch them dump the dye into the water, and then we would make our way to Deerhorn Street to watch the parade. Mostly, I just watched the parade from the sidelines, but there were a few times I participated, as well! One of my fondest memories of St. Patrick’s Day is of my co-host and nephew, Jimmy, when he was a little kid. My brother and I took him down to watch the parade, and we were having a great time watching and catching candy for Jimmy. Then Jimmy started marching with some group that was passing by, and when I asked them what they were doing, Jimmy said, “I’m joining the parade!” Not wanting to be left in the dust, I started marching with them too. It was great fun to wave to all the onlookers and pretend like we belonged with the rest of the marchers.
If you’ve been reading the newsletter since the beginning, you will know that St. Patrick’s Day is special to me for another reason: It is the day Teresa and I had our first date. We had known each other from the medical center when I was rehabbing my back injury, and she was a nurse. After I had recovered, we ran into each other in a bar on St. Patrick’s Day and ended up spending the whole day together. That may have been the day we fell in love. So when I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I am celebrating Teresa, too. Finally, I would like to wish a special happy birthday to my sons, Jake and Joey, who were born on March 17 (St. Patty’s Day) and March 19 (St. Joseph’s Day). I love you boys so much. Happy birthday!
"It was great fun to wave to all the onlookers and pretend like we belonged with the rest of the marchers."
When Jim was still with us, the family would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by cooking traditional Irish dishes. We used to cook around 10 pounds of corned beef each year, have friends over, and enjoy the parade while having a feast. Chicago moved the parade to the Saturday after St. Patrick’s Day after many years, and it hasn’t been the same since. Now, we still celebrate at my house with family and friends, but with considerably less corned beef and colcannon (potatoes boiled with cabbage). Although Jim used to drink Guinness, I can’t stomach it, so we drink green beer to celebrate instead.
I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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