Here in the St. Louis area, it's the day for the 44th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dogtown, a cluster of neighborhoods south of the city's Forest Park and steeped in Irish-American history. But first, the 35th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Run kicked off at 9 this morning and coursed through downtown and midtown St. Louis for five miles. The parade was set to begin at noon.
I'm still at home, having now missed both events. I decided last night not to go today, because the local weather experts forecasted a rain-snow mix for this morning and temperatures in the 30s all day. I double-checked early this morning with meteorologists Kristen Cornett and Steve Templeton on KMOV-TV, and as Kristen told us that we could get one to three inches of snow, the station showed us footage of last year's parade. We viewers could see that the sun was shining on the 2012 procession, and people were dressed in shirtsleeves. Oh, that hurt. I don't want clouds, snow and winter ale today. I want warm, sunny, spring weather and some St. Louis green beer.
I'm finding a little bit of Irish comfort in the St. Louis Cardinals, who are wearing green uniform jerseys as they play the Miami Marlins right now at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., televised on Fox Sports Midwest. The two ball clubs share Dean Stadium, and the Marlins are the home team today, wearing white pants and black jerseys. The Cards are wearing gray bottoms and green tops, with red undershirts and green ball caps. They look outstanding. I realize it's just a spring-training exhibition game, but
it's St. Patrick's Day, baseball's in the air, and I really want it to be springtime!
I wore green almost everyday for 20 years when I was an active-duty Marine. And you know St. Patrick's day was a good excuse to drink beer, which always has been a popular activity among U.S. Marines. That we were all dressed in green certainly added to the festive air of the annual St. Patty's observance, although I never gave much thought to St. Patrick. It was just a great day to drink some beers.
I do know that St. Patrick is a patron saint of Ireland, who died on maybe March 17 in 460 or 461. The exact date is not a certainty among historians. Nevertheless, we observe March 17 as St. Patrick's Day, and the Irish have considered it a religious holiday for some 1,000 years.
I've heard that the Irish like St. Patrick also because he drove all the snakes out of Ireland. I really like snakes, so if I were Irish, I'd have a real beef about that one.
I am one-quarter Irish-American. My maternal grandmother was born Ellen McLeod, although I think the old clan back in Ireland spells it as: MacLeod. Either way, I have a wee bit 'a Irish in me, and I'd be gettin' pretty upset with any saint who would try to drive the snakes out of America. I be likin' me snakes, lads and lassies. I'm especially fond of gopher snakes, bull snakes and hog-nosed snakes. On this day, I'm fond of green
Today, I have a couple of St. Louis-brewed beers to enjoy, and my Cardinals are on Fox Sports Midwest, decked out in bright green jerseys and green Cardinal caps. All I need now are a couple of hot dogs doused in mustard.
With that in mind, I just now traipsed to the meat bin in the refrigerator and found green hot dogs. I yelled to my wife, thanking her for the St. Patrick's Day dogs. She told me to throw them away – they're just old dogs.
Just kidding. I made that up. She'd kill me if I said that for real. Happy St. Patty's Day!