Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Favorite Saint Paddy's Day ~ 1970

Just past noon, Buddy McMahon and I jumped into the parade at 61st Street joining our classmates and teachers, LaSalle Academy marching up Fifth Avenue. This was non-regulation starting the parade late (we paid the piper with a knuck off the head the following day at school) ~ We broke off at the Met Museum to run east down to the river and spent the late afternoon enjoying a bucket of swill down Carl Schurz with a crowd in the Hockey Field with tunes. Afterwards, five of us started a neighborhood walkabout. Around six, we ended up on the 300 block on 85th Street in front of a building where someone had thrown away a large convertible couch, a straight up chair, and a refrigerator box. Ekis turned the giant box into a desk, put it in front of the chair and Romano, Muller, Feldman, McMahon and I took turns hosting the Johnny Carson show, ~ Romano did a pretty good Ed McMahon. We invited people walking home from work and school to join us on the show; some did, most takers were noticeably impaired walking back from the parade or a gin mill.

Muller was the best host, Romano served “You are correct, sir.” to Johnny. Ekis tried to spin a plate on a stick but we told him it was the wrong show, and threatened to send him over to a couple of drunks across the street doing a Ed Sullivan Show.

After we exhausted this routine, and got sick of ducking crap people were throwing at us out the windows, we moved. Between First & York Avenue, Freddy found a standing lamp without a shade that was a perfect prop. Our first stop Was Loftus Tavern on the corner of 85th Street. We went in, dropped a quarter in the juke box for two songs (a recent change from three for a quarter & one for a dime) and out came the Beatles singing No Reply, and so did we, into our imaginary mike on top the standing lamp. Gathered closely around the lamp in sweet harmony, we sung the 45’s flip side, I’m a Loser. Loose change rolled towards our feet. This was a good sign, if the coins were thrown at us, they didn’t like us, rolled meant we were entertainment (kind of). We sung Witchcraft & Night Day before moving back into the Beatles catalogue. After an hour, and pocketing our money we took our show over to Killarney Castle on Third Avenue. There, our reception was mixed but we blocked most of the coins coming at our heads with our arms up.

Erin Go Bragh!

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