As I was heading for my car to escape for lunch, I noticed that the city DPW painted the traditional green line down the middle of the main street in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the big parade tomorrow.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade here is usually very interesting. Traditionally, Mother Nature blesses us with a last blast of winter so there’s often snow on the ground. Sometimes there’s a blizzard. In fact, Dolly Parton was once stranded in the downtown hotel after a performance the previous night and was unable to leave due to the blizzard hitting the area. Bored, she looked out her hotel window and saw the St. Patrick’s Day parade proceeding right through downtown. You could barely see the floats from all the snow, but there it was, your average parade in the middle of a snowstorm. Dolly relayed the experience to the rest of America on David Letterman the following Monday night.
Back in my radio days, the station I worked for made an appearance in the parade, reminding folks why our station was best. One year we tried to get fancy and hired a tractor trailer to provide the stage for our music, inviting listeners up on the bed of the trailer to dance along with the music. We set up the booth traditionally used when we were on location, which was unwieldy at best. (It wasn’t meant to be moving). The bed of the trailer was so icy that we had to form a human chain and hold on for our dear lives so that people wouldn’t be pitched off the back everytime the parade started moving. Since there were several youngsters aboard, the music director reminded us that we should watch our language. The truck took off and she punctuated the experience with a “holy fuckin’ shit” as she held on for dear life. After the initial shock we pummeled the crowd with tootsie rolls, lollipops and dum-dums, because nothing says “listen to the radio” better than a rock hard frozen tootsie roll.
The following year it was 75 degrees for a change and I convinced the new night jock, a handsome young man, to go shirtless to “tease the ladies”. Come to find out, he was too good at teasing the ladies and had to be fired when I found him more than just teasing the ladies in the studio during his air shift.
Ah, good times.
So tonight Earl and I are going to have swig of beer and eat something festive like cabbage to celebrate the holiday. We’ll skip the parade tomorrow since it’s no longer mandatory for us and because I’m on call.
I’m betting it’s going to be snowing.