17 March 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day from Butte America

"He drank like a fish
And he ate like a savage
The only thing he didn't like
Was corned beef and cabbage."
[Excerpt from a poem Gramp's recited at the St Paddy's Day supper table of my youth; a variation was sung by Benny Bell as McCarthy & McGinnis (1940s)]

You can read the calendar by the flourishing shamrock plant on our dining room table:

That's right, St. Patrick's Day--one of Butte, Montana's biggest celebrations. Marcus Daly, one of the original Copper Kings who helped build the Anaconda Copper Mining Company empire, encouraged Irish immigrants to come to Butte. Legend has it that they would steo off the boat in New York City, have a tag pinned on their coat reading "Destination Butte," and board a train.

What's St. Paddy's Day without a day-before snowstorm in the mile-high city (view from my office at Montana Tech):

Start the day off with a ski to forfend the calories from a couple of pints and a few slabs of corned beef:

Wow, it's snowing at least two inches per hour:

Bending the little lodgepoles over the trails like white rainbows:

Geez, my nose is red and not one beer (yet):

As so often happens in the mountains, the storm is followed by a clear, sunny day:

The highlight of the parade are the several piper bands:

Chuck Schnabel from the Quarry Brew brought the pub's mascot:

And dontcha know but the real St. Patrick shows up:

Lotta green in the crowd, of course:

Horses too are wearin' the green:

And what would a Butte St. Paddy's Day parade be without men in coconuts:

Erin Go Bragh!


Max said...

Thanks for the images of a chilly St Paddy's Day. It's been ten years since I've celebrate the day in Butte, but I'll toast a few memories from the soggy Northwest.

troutbirder said...

Wouldn't ya know Mrs. T is pushing a fall trip to the Emerald Isle. Stock Market be damned, I think I might go along.

Carolyn said...

Happy St. Paddy's Day to you all, you have earned it! I enjoyed your post and your blog. Thanks for sharing.

citizen of the world said...

Wow, it's hard for me to imagine it being that cold on St. Patrick's day! But looks like peple didn't mind and got out to celebrate anyway.

EcoRover said...

Sure thing, Max--hope you get back 'ome now & again. "Tap 'er light."

Troutbirder, good for Mrs. T! I'm jealous, hope you have a pint for me.

Hi Carolyn, we do need a break now and again. Thanks!

Citizen, cold is relative, I guess--and varies with the antifreeze content of the blood!