My father was Irish – with Irish roots and a heritage that colored his personality.
I happened on a PBS special about the Irish potato farmers. Two things caught my attention: they were known to be fine story tellers, and they were known to be tall.
My dad, loved to tell stories with voices and gestures and dialects. In fact he was an actor in little theatre. He was tall, but of course, he shrunk as he got older. He was 6’5” when he died.
A true lyric baritone who could reach the tenor notes. I can still hear him singing Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral. I remember seeing a tear in my mom's eye when he would sing
"I love you as I never loved before!
Since first I met you on the village green.
Come to me, or my dream of love is o'er!
I love you as I loved you,
When you were sweet
When you were sweet sixteen."
He’d be disappointed if corned beef and cabbage or Irish Stew were not on the table on March 17th, with soda bread. Dinner for St. Paddy’s Day would always be accompanied by a few jokes, replete with dialect, and of course a story or two. And yes, at 6 '6” he could dance an Irish jig.
In honor of my dad, I am posting one of his favorite jokes. When you read this you must hear it as if spoken by a true Irishman.
It was during the vespers service at the First Methodist church. The soloist in the choir loft was so enthralled with her high notes, that she leaned too far forward and fell out of the loft, and landed in the chandelier, her foot caught amongst the wooden cross-pieces, with skirts and petticoats falling about her head, nearly exposing her blessed assurance.
Theminister was a quick thinker and said “Any one who looks up will be stricken blind –in BOTH eyes” Mr. O’Malley nudged his friend next to him and said, "I believe I’ll risk ...one eye.”
Ah Daddy, I can still hear you singing in your lovely Irish tenor voice…”And when Irish eyes are smiling…sure they’ll steal your heart…away.” And you did.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit