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St. Patrick's Day Memories: Denis Hamill

The first time I was old enough to have a legal beer with my father in Dorrian's Red Hand. My old man came over on the same boat with his good pal Red Dorrian. I'd heard a hundred stories about him and now I finally got to drink with someone who knew my father when he was young. Sharing the sanctity of the pub with my father was a rite of passage. It made him regard me as a man instead of as a boy. It made us closer, especially on St. Patrick's Day. He loved to sing and he loved to drink and he loved being Irish. He also loved Brooklyn and New York and being an American. Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade? If so, what group did you march with? I marched once, with my mother, with County Antrim. She loved marching all year. Especially with a picket sign with Northern Aid in front of the British Embassy.

Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone's music library: The Best of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem; The Liam Tiernan Collection; The Long Black Veil by The Chieftains.; Irish Songs of Rebellion/Irish Drinking Songs by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem; Those Were the Days by Liam Clancy.

How much green do you wear on March 17th? Not as much as I used to spend in my drinking days. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? How about soda bread? No. I usually go for Chinese - chicken and broccoli. I love soda bread any day of the year, especially with Lyons tea.

Favorite Irish film? "Bloody Sunday." Favorite Irish book? "The Gingerman" by JP Donleavy. Favorite Irish song? "Carrickfergus." Complete this sentence: The most Irish thing about me is . . . telling jokes about the dearly departed at wakes . . .

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