Back in the day, my pal Maureen and I used to look upon St. Patrick's Day like it was Christmas. We would be so excited in the days leading up to it and just be giddy with anticipation. On the day we would leave work early, or not go to work at all and together play pipes at all the Irish pubs in San Francisco for beer and cash. (Like Homer in "The Simpsons": "Ahhhhhh, beer and cash.") The day would "end" playing at The Dubliner on 24th Street. My sister Eileen would Irish step dance in the streets, with the crowds packed deep, all our friends would be there and we would get, well, pissed. It was fantastic.
And then I got older. Thank GOD!
I do not for a second regret all the fun we had, but it was time to leave the beer soaked, fag-ended nursery and move on.
Today I am in New York and Monday is the biggest St. Patty's Day of them all anywhere right here in Manhattan. I have never seen it, been to it, tasted it, anything. And this year I will be in it! I am marching up 5th Avenue playing with the Monaghan Pipe Band of New York City. I get a thrill just thinking about it. Tonight I put on my new pipe band bagpipe cover complete with band insignia, tied on the band tassels, made sure I had all my uniform parts and called my Irish cousin in Queens to tell her the news.
I have no idea what to expect, but I am going to do it and just have a ball.
Oh, I hope I can sleep tonight.