Welcome

Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...

WARNING

If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Wearin' O' The Green

Happy Friday!! And it's St. Paddy's Day weekend to boot. Kicking things off, the awesome Mark Koopmans is hosting his Got Green? Blog Fest. To participate we share our Irish stories, real or imagined, in 333 words. Check out all the amazing participants here



I'm Irish by way of Counties Cork and Tyrone, on both sides of my family. Bradley is the Anglicized version of O'Brollachain. My great grandfather Faye came here in 1900 from County Tyrone to work the coal mines, while on my mother's side, the Sullivans, hailed from Cork and worked the mills.

I’m  a South Side Chicago Irish woman, loud and proud. Being Chicago Irish is a far cry from being Irish anywhere else. We are a rough and tumble lot who literally grew up with our city. Chicago became a city in 1837 and we Irish arrived a scant decade later. We built the Union Stockyards, worked the steel mills, and built the Illinois and Michigan Canal. We had a hand in the building of the many bascule and draw bridges along the city’s rivers. South Side Irish backs laid much of the track for the railroads that helped make Chicago a commerce center. We were many of Chicago’s first firemen and police officers, Barney Cloonan and Martin Lahart were part of Elliott Ness’ Untouchables. We boast twelve mayors in our crew, the  Daleys being the most recent. Other colorful Irish politicians include “Hinky Dink” Kenna, “Foxy Ed” Cullerton and “Bathhouse John” Coughlin. We had a big influence on the spiritual side of things as well, our numbers making the Archdiocese of Chicago one of the largest and most powerful in the United States.

Our grand accomplishments weren’t always on the right side of the law, though. We made bathtub gin during Prohibition and ran speakeasies. And getting back to Al Capone, we gave him plenty of trouble on the illegal side of things as well. He tried to wipe out some of our North Side brethren in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. 

We celebrate St. Paddy’s day here like nowhere else. To honor our patron saint, we dye the Chicago River green, drink green beer, stuff our faces with corned beef, potatoes and soda bread. We kiss total strangers, lift our kilts and shake our tail feathers... Somehow, I don't think Patrick would get our party.

Fun Fact: It takes 40 pounds of dye to get the river that green

Well, I'm off to eat, drink and be merry, sing a few pub songs and dirty ditties. I'll probably even wear one of those grotesque Kiss Me I'm Irish buttons. On second thought...

Monday I will be here with my Top Ten Movies post for Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant blogfest. 

Have a great weekend and Happy St. Patrick's Day!


21 comments:

  1. Another holiday not celebrated here. Have a great one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a lot of dye!
    St. Patrick might not get your party, but my father's side of the family is from Chicago, so I get your party.
    Now go drink some green beer. Well, later - it's still early.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Melissa,

    I lived in ChiTown in '98-'00 and worked at Fado across from Maggiano's on Grant... so if you went to "our" Paddy's Day parties during those couple of years, our paths *have* crossed:)

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Irish are really tough. I would love to see that green river. I've only seen Chicago from a distance. (Strange road trip and long story.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sure and begorrah! Erin go bragh! It's a foine post ye be feisting upon on us this marnin! Sure and I be thanking ye for year kindness!

    ReplyDelete
  6. love the green river!Amazing! And love all our Irish brothers and sisters!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wish I could be over near Chicago right now, to enjoy my brother's famous corned beef. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love Chicago so much, I do want to spend St Patricks day there one of these years!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My best friend in high school's father was South side of Chicago Irish. He was also the judge in the small town where I grew up. Lots of great stories about him.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Never been to Chicago, but sounds like a fun place to visit on St. Pat's Day! Top o the morning to you and Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I do have Irish in my family surprisingly enough. My Grandmother had red hair before it turned dark. Cool idea for a fest! BTW Melissa, there's no way I'm dipping in that green river. Just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  12. My sister went to University of Chicago and still lives there to this day. She said it's one huge party.

    Happy St. Patty's!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yay beer! St. Paddy's day was my sister-in-law's bday. So I think of her every March 17th with a smile.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love St. Patrick's Day and Jameson and Bushmill :) I'm Scotch-Irish which is about as close to Irish as you can get without actually being Irish, I guess. Happy St. Paddy's Day, Melissa!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's a lot of dye. You Chicago people are so silly.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow. That's some interesting Irish history! I've learned a lot today about the Irish in different parts of the US. Beer is the common theme though.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  17. 40 Ibs? Holy moly. I've met a few of the Chicago Irish and they're proud of their city and their contributions to it. Fun fact about Eliot Ness and his untouchables.

    Enjoyed the article, Melissa! Um, you can keep the green beer, tho. If I drink beer, I love a good dark beer.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Holy Guacamole dip...that is a lot of dye! I love all that you shared and now I am craving some Boardwalk Empire ;D
    Keep those Irish eyes smiling!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, that is a lot of dye! I've never been to Chicago, but I hear so many great things about that city, would love to visit it someday. Happy St. Paddy's Day! May your day be as green and merry as the Chicago river! (:

    ReplyDelete
  20. 40 lbs! Begorrah! I spent St. Paddy's Day Eve sick in bed with food poisoning - about 85% back to normal today - still don't need to wear any green today - I'm still a little green myself!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I know it's dye but I have an urge to take a drink of that river.

    ReplyDelete

I love, love comments, so please leave your thoughts. I may not always be able to answer directly, but please know that what you say is very important to me.