Last night I took the family out for dinner and could not help but notice all the police out and about. Then I remembered it was St Patrick’s Day. I came home and checked out the Rival Gates Facebook page and Twitter and they were both lit up with commentary about the “holiday.” It made me curious. I had never looked into St Patrick’s history and seen if it had a connection with drinking. I read that he was British and taken captive by Irish pirates at a young age and used as a slave. During his enslavement he worked as a shepherd and converted to Christianity. He escaped 6 years later after hearing a call from God and found his way back home. Years later in the 5th century he became a cleric and returned to Ireland to spread the word of god. He eventually became a bishop in the land where he was once a captive. Never accepting payment or gifts for his acts he found Irish society unwilling to protect him and was even held as a prisoner for a short time. He died on March 17th, 492 A.D. In the 7th century he became known as the Patron Saint of Ireland. It’s an interesting story, to be sure, but there was nothing about green beer in there. I suppose like many of our holidays, it has become commercialized to the point where the original meaning is buried to an unidentifiable depth. Irish have not always had such an easy time in America and I am proud to say I am part Irish and part German. When people ask me what that means I tell them, “It means I can hold my beer and I don’t care what you think about it!” St. Patrick’s Day has become a day to celebrate the Irish in this country and I see no harm in that so long as people are responsible in the way they behave. Still, many of the Irish I have known were hard working, decent people. Why are they only thought of for drinking? My German side of the family drank just as much as my Irish side. I guess that’s a question to pose around Oktoberfest. In the end this is just an excuse to party. Who doesn’t love a good party? Mind you we were off the streets by 8:30. I just wish that somewhere in the revelry the actual saint who gave his name to this day could be remembered. He would seem to be a remarkable man, indeed.
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