St. Patrick’s Church just happened to be a few blocks from our hotel, so Teague and I decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at St. Patrick’s Church. I never had much experience with the Irish until I met the Johnston family. After we had been married a few years Teague’s dad suggested that I should read Trinity by Leon Uris. He said that I would be able to understand the Irish a little better after I read it. The book did open my eyes to the plight of the Irish, and some of what as a people have been through.
The mass was a spectacular affair. It was celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. Many of the ladies had beautiful hats, and there were even a few kilts and bagpipes. The Ancient Order of Hibernians were represented by a large group of men. They were there to honor their person of the year. She was a sister who has given her life to help feed the hungry. After mass, Teague and I enjoyed a corn beef on rye and some gumbo at a small local deli.
We made plans to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade that evening. We consulted our concierge about a good place to watch the parade go by. He suggested a restaurant with a large glass window, so we could eat and watch the parade go by. He made us reservations for 7:00 and thought the parade would pass by us during dinner. He did warn us by saying parades in New Orleans can sometime take on a life of their own.
Sure enough the parade still hadn’t passed our way as we finished our meal about an hour later. We went outside to wait, but it was to cold for both of us. Luckily, Teague found a couple of empty chairs in a hotel lobby with a big window where we could sit and wait for the parade out of the cold. Time went by, and I was beginning to wonder if the parade would make it our way, and my head was even starting to nod as I occasionally rested my eyes. Teague was quietly waiting and watching…
All of sudden here come the band of bagpipes and marchers in kilts. Teague says we should go out and stand on the street. She is practically running across the street to get there. Floats and revelers pass by us throwing beads and cheering us on. The Irish begins to come out in Teague as she starts to dance a jig and catch beads as the floats go by. She gets an Irish sticker, and she even got kissed by an Irishman. We celebrated. We got our beads!