||[Mar. 17th, 2003|03:44 am]
Expatriated Zulu and Charming Negress
Gather 'round, chilthern, Auntie will tell you the story of Paddy McEntee.
My dad was born in Northern Ireland, Co. Antrim to be more specific. The family came over in 1929, when he was 3. He didn't have an accent, except for:
1. He was on the phone with Nana
2. A Maureen O'Hara movie was on tv
3. PADDY MCENTEE.
Paddy McEntee was this guy he worked with, they were both teachers. Paddy was the very visual definition of MICK. He was a jovial guy with a full beard, and was active in the Co. Tyrone league. Every year he would march with them in the parade, wearing a lovely thick Aran sweater, a tam-o-shanter, and kilt, beating a big bass drum with the pipers. Absolutely picturesque, pum-pum-pum down Fifth Avenue in his ghillies and knee socks.
And every damn year, WITHOUT FAIL, they would put the camera on him. The camera LOVED Paddy.
And every year, when Paddy would come up on the screen, Dad would jump up and yell "THERE'S PADDY MCENTEE BEATIN' HIS BIG BASS DRUM! AW, SHOW 'IM AGAIN, YE BASTARDS!" Me fadder seemed to think that two hours of just Paddy marching down the parade route would have made great programming.
Of course, they'd move on, and Dad would alternate between saying "didja see 'im? didja see Paddy McEntee, Siannan?" while beaming and chuckling; and grumbling "they didn't show enough o' Paddy" as he glowered at the stiff-armed stepdancers jigging down the street and one of the parade hosts talking to a guy dressed as Ducky Drake, who was always a sponsor.
Then The Quiet Man would come on and the house would start to stink with corned beef, and I'd wander around until the afternoon movie started, which was inevitably Darby O'Gill and the Little People.