Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!
I love hearing Gaelic spoken. There’s very few of my generation that can do it. Sean Sullivan, my youngest brother’s wife’s older brother, does a nice job. But I haven’t heard it spoken regularly since my grandparent’s generation crossed the veil.
A lost art.
But I’ve still managed to maintain an important part of my Celtic heritage – the Luck of The Irish. . . .
and the Blarney.
And if I have to choose only two of the many gifts that come as my Irish birthright, I’ll take those two.
They are two important themes that are woven throughout the fabric of Finding Jimmy Moran.
You see, I’ve been incredibly lucky throughout my life. Always in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. And if you ask anyone that really knows me, they’ll tell you that I’m completely full of shit. And they’re right. “I am.” Blarney.
Of course, it is easier to see the proof of my Irish Luck claim through a rear view mirror, but here “I am.”
Now I love to honor my Celtic heritage on two particular days of the year, St. Patty’s Day and Halloween.
That’s right, the Irish created Halloween. Deal with it. Truly my favorite holiday.
I also like to acknowledge my Clan’s Scottish Celtic roots in April – https://nationaltoday.com/scottish-american-heritage-month. We come from mercenaries that were kicked out of Scotland and ended up in the Northern six as Catholics of all things. Talk about looking for trouble.
But that’s okay, there is precedent for that migration. St. Patrick was born a wealthy Scot, before he put on the Mitre and took up the Bachal Isu and converted his Irish cousins, and while he was at it, chased all the snakes out of the Emerald Isle.
Although, despite St. Patty’s best efforts, I’ve managed to hang onto and channel my genetic pre-christian druidic beliefs in magic and the fae. Some of that appears in FJM.
And the Scots and Irish make a wonderful combination.
Now today’s SPD celebration falls on a Friday. Back in the day, that lucky concurrence gave our celebration a shot of steriods. Bronx bars would be packed. The local parks and woods would be filled with partiers too young to drink in bars. I know, the Ireland born (including my grandparents) looked with dismay on how their Irish-American descendants have shangheid this very holy day as their excuse to drink, and sing and fight. But that’s what we did. And it was a fun. I won’t apologize.
Indeed, I’ve woven some (a lot ;)) of that into Finding Jimmy Moran as well.
But, as I have mentioned, I’m lucky. I survived that childhood.
Not all of my contemporaries did. I’ve resurrected a number of them in FJM. I owed them that. My homage.
Now the Blarney was another crucial asset. I talked my way into and out of a lot of trouble in my youth. Had a hell of a time doing it. It came natural to me.
And that prepared me for my professional life as a lawyer. I’ve been incredibly lucky that way too.
I’ve been lucky in love as well. Nothing but luck could explain my past or how I landed the woman who was crazy enough to marry me. Thank you Lisa. I’m the guy others look at and go “Him? No fucking way!” Pure luck.
My children have all grown up healthy and happy into fine adults. In today’s world, that’s all luck.
But if there was ever undeniable proof of the application of the Luck of the Irish to this man’s life, and that Blarney is real, it’s the fact that I have three bestselling novels, The Claire Trilogy, that I wrote in my 60s, with my fourth, the prequel, Finding Jimmy Moran, about to drop next month. Solid gold luck.
And that only happened through a lucky series of unexpected events that took me in the wee hours of the night from the Bronx to Berthoud Colorado, and culminated with my introduction to the very magic mule, Claire.
Just remember, as all my friends will swear to, I’m completely full of shit.
Now I gave up drinking a long time ago, and I haven’t had a decent donnybrook (named after a town near Dublin – a lot of those in FJM) in decades, so I will celebrate my wonderful Irish ancestry today quietly by lighting a votive candle for my ancestors.
Sorry St. Patty, old magic dies hard.
I’ll also be reaching out to my Celtic friends and family – hopefully will get to hear the fine Northern brogue of Colin Broderick at some point – and some non-Celts that have been adopted into both circles, and then by watching The Quiet Man (where you can hear some great “Irish” – https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Father+Lanergan+The+Quiet+Man)&docid=603496261491509982&mid=825BDDEE70F033A35E27825BDDEE70F033A35E27&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
and then The Departed (as a nod to the Bronx-Irish’s Southie-Boston cousins), and maybe Brave Heart, as a nod to my Scots-Celts roots.
Now I must get through the work day.
But first, that kitty cuddle, the rounds and the dreadmill.
You fine, five readers go out there and get your Celt on.
It’s Friday! And St. Patty’s Day. A Magical Twofer.
And remember, today, we are all Irish.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!
Tom, seeing you pay tribute in today’s blog to St. Patty’s Day and the gift of blarney that we’ve been blessed with has inspired me to spew forth this ode to you —
From all your fans and followers,
Your family and fellow fools,
We’re thankful God has gifted you
With impressive writing tools.
How you survived your wonder years,
Your books try to explain.
Your parents watched the train wreck wondering,
Could something good come from all that rain?
Your journey took you to many a school.
And at one you found a wife.
Many years later, you added a mule.
And they both have changed your life.
But you never lost sight of your writing dream,
While pulling many a book off a shelf.
And now there are collections near and far
Where you finally see yourself.
Happy St. Patty’s Day, Tom, and may the Luck of the Irish shine again on your prequel launching next month.
Okay BC. You got me. I’m crying. Thanks for the Ode and for all of the adventures and laughs during our not so formative years. I almost feel bad making you Voldemort in KMAG. Almost. But I’m happy I resurrected you in Finding Jimmy Moran. We had an amazing life. No one would believe it.
We McCaffrey’s (by birth or marriage) have indeed, had the luck of the Irish. Slainte!
beautifully done BC. You and Tom are kindred spirits.
Thank you, Yvette. We do try to hide it as best we can. But sometimes it slips out.