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Photography : Frank Cawley Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02


The Boston St Patrick's Day Parade
By Frank Cawley
21, Mar 2006 - 01:36

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The 105th annual Boston St Patrick's Day Parade took place 2 days after the day on Sunday the 19th of March.  I was there representing the unelected Castlebar Monster Raving Lunatic Party.

boston_parade_leprechaun.jpg
They say i'ts hard to capture a leprechaun, and why wouldn't it be when the little pwick is hiding himself on the front bumper of one of Bostonís finest fire engines? A man would have to set fire to something, then call out the ďGalway BrigadeĒ fire engines just to even have a chance of catching him. I didnít manage to capture him, but I got close enough to take this quick snapÖ..



boston_parade_bear.jpg
Barney the wonder bear, one of the last few remaining grizzlies thatís to be found in New England. In another few years you wonít find any bears nor petrol prices like those shown in the background. The locals are going practically mental because they have to pay the equivalent of 50 cent a litre. Itís interesting to note that the average US car used the same amount of petrol in the 70ís as the average gas guzzler does today. All of the improvements and efficiencies in gas mileage have used up with larger plant and bigger engines.



boston_parade_chevy.jpg
A red stretch Chevy, and if your sharp enough youíll see a small mural on the side wall of Alís Liquors. ďIreland divided will never be at peaceĒ This is on west Broadway right in the heart of Southie, an area of Boston, as welcoming to our English neighbours as the Celtic supporters club on the Falls road.



boston_parade_navy.jpg
These boys will be off to Shannon soon.



boston_parade_salute.jpg
A salute for the lads from an Irish Vietnam Vet. There is a very strong respect in the US for the men in uniform, and none stronger than the people who made sacrifices for their country in the past. The last time I saw someone salute an Irish army officer was at the bar in the officersí mess, all pints were 50 p.



boston_parade_st_pat.jpg
St Pat himself, you might wonder what the kids are doing with polystyrene shamrocks around their heads, well it was minus 2 for most of the parade, and the wind would cut through ya. I forgot my balaclava, and I almost lost my ears to the brisk northeasterly wind.



boston_parade_stormtrouper.jpg
This says a lot about America. Itís such a large country and so influenced by film and TV that you have a whole section of society whose religion is based solidly in Star Wars. This trooper is a middle aged grown man who works during the day as a plasterer, and at night as a gimp in George Lucasís army. Iím not to sure about his lady friend in the background she was speaking in ebock or something. I thought she was from Belmullet at first, I said ď I come in peace, friend, what part of Erris do you spawn fromĒ but F off is the same no matter what language you speak or what Galaxy your from.



boston_parade_tinmen.jpg
The happy tin men. I only discovered recently that the wizard of Oz has a strong ďgayĒ theme running through the entire film. I must have been asleep: a cowardly lion, and a cross dressing scare crow should have been enough evidence. Any way as with Storm Troopers, there are thousands of men and lady men, who are lined up all across the land, who would almost give their right handbag to have the opportunity to dress up as any of the characters in this classic film. What it has to do with driving snakes out of Ireland isnít quite clear, but thatís the great thing about a St Patrick ís Day parade all you have to do is where the tiniest bit of green and bobs your auntieÖ.



boston_parade_pot_o_gold.jpg
Finally here he is again minding his gold. He wasnít the only man of Irish descent minding the gold. I saw thousands of little men and women, minding their cans of the US equivalent of Dutch gold, for fear the police would find them. Itís illegal to drink an alcoholic beverage in public in Massachusetts but itís hard to get caught when the police are marching in the parade, and your smuggling your hooch around in either your belly or your Dunkin Donuts coffee cup. I never in my life saw so many people drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee. It was a good parade Ė my highlight was seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales, truly magnificent horses, performing a truly magnificent job. If ever an animal was manís best friend Iím afraid to say the poor mutt would come in second best. It was a bit rougher than the Irish or NY parade, there was a strong smell of drink every where, most people said they were ďloadedĒ hours before kick off which was 1pm. Saying all that, the police had a zero tolerance attitude, and they only managed to arrest 35 people. There must have been 100,000 people there, and you get arrested in the states at the drop of a hat. So that was a good display. I didnít see one fight but then again I didnít see one Rangers top either, be it from New York or Glasgow. ;-)





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Frank Cawley
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