As March winds down, it’s time to catch up on some of the Shenanigans that took place during the month of Irish Heritage, Blarney Buses and green beer. As a life long (Irish) Delco resident, the Month of March has always been a celebration. From growing up making Irish Potatoes, attending the Springfield Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Ham and Cabbage dinners at the Erin Pub. As I got older, you know “drinking age” (wink wink) the celebrating really began. Dressing head to toe in my favorite shades of green, hopping from bar to bar on the Erin Express, then the Blarney Bus, getting shit-faced, becoming overly proud of my Irish heritage and the fact I was from Ridley – cause you know, Ridley kids bleed green and will out drink anyone else.
This year was no different from the other 15 years of celebrating, bar hopping. The choice of transportation was bussing it up and down MacDaddy Blvd with the rest of my clan. Starting off at the Barnaby’s where there was green for all the eyes to see… from Kiss Me I’m Irish T-shirts, the oh so lucky Phillies McGraw Jerseys, girls in green tutus and suspenders and everyone throwing back a Miller Lite and a shot of Fireball. The sun was shining, beer was flowing and “yo buddy” echoed through out the bar. Every half hour, the announcement of the next bus was yelled through each bar.
Next stop… Rick’s! Heading to Rick’s at 1:00p would seem twelve hours early any other day of the year, but it was perfect for the Blarney Bus. The Palladino’s always have a pot of meatballs & gravy ready for the stream of green-dressed revelers to stumble through the door; it’s exactly what you need. Blackthorn is playing from the DJ booth, Mr. P stands at his normal spot at the back door, smiling, laughing and trying out his best Irish Jig while the rest of us laugh and sing, in drunken Irish cheer. Next stop… Durty Nelly’s, grab a Kaiser roll to go from Rick’s (gotta soak up that last Miller Lite) and take walk up to Durty Nelly’s. Walking up Virginia Avenue, every house has an Irish flag out and the older residents sit outside smiling and yell out to have a good time.
Nelly’s is packed, band on stage and beer tubs ready. Nelly’s always seems to be the place where you run into someone or a group of people from you High School you haven’t seen since the last Blarney Bus and the one before that. Round of beers, telling old stories, another round of beers and then a shot. By this time, you tell the same stories, one more time and off to Casey’s… then to the Red Lantern…then to RP McMurphy’s. RP’s is packed, loud and full of green from front to back. Run into a few more people from High School, ones you never thought you’d see again and ones you wish you’d never see again… sometimes one person fits both. A few more beers, push and a shove… and then what we have all been expecting and secretly hoping for… A FIGHT!!! Two dudes get escorted out, still swinging and cursing all the way out to MacDade. There are cheers and chants as the guys get tossed. The music goes up again, the DJ kicks it old school with a little MJ and Earth Wind and Fire. Some more beers, more shots and a little more pushing and shoving… here we go again….ANOTHER FIGHT, but this time … the ladies step it up. Moral of the story, you don’t mess with an Irish Delco girl’s sister. As these four were escorted out, we followed suit and hopped the last bus back to the start of all the fun, Barnaby’ for just…one more
As the night ends, we walk home and say we can’t wait for next year. No matter how old you are (there were three generations of a local family in Rick’s) Saint Patrick’s celebrations in Delco is part of who you are. It’s time to celebrate being Irish, being Delco and just to celebrate!