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St. Patrick's Day Memories: Peter Quinn

A cold, wet afternoon in the early 1950s. My brother and I were on the reviewing stand with our father. We stood in the fold of his overcoat, protected from the wind. Have you ever marched in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade? With only a few exceptions necessitated by the arrival of children, affliction by the flu and out-of-town speaking engagements, I've marched with Manhattan College in every parade since 1965. Five essential Irish albums that should be part of everyone's music library: This question is poisoned bait, the kind best avoided. It's an invitation to incur the enmity of every band not mentioned. Let me just say I'm a fan of Van Morrison, Ashley Davis, the Chieftains, Mick Moloney, Black '47, Cathie Ryan, the Cranberries, Joe Hurley and a host of other musicians and groups whose names escape the fading reach of my sexagenarian brain. How much green do you wear on March 17th? Enough to make the point. Do you eat corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day? How about soda bread? Does a bear do you-know-what in the woods? Favorite Irish film? My favorite Irish films are "Michael Collins," "In the Name of the Father," "My Left Foot," "The Waking of Ned Devine" and (although they're technically English films) "Odd Man Out" and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley." My favorite Irish-American films are "Public Enemy" (Cagney is incredible), "True Confessions" (DeNiro's great as a priest and don't forget his paternal grandmother was Helen O'Reilly), "The Miracle Worker" (Ann Bancroft as Annie Sullivan does a great bit of acting despite one of the worst Irish accents in the history of Hollywood), "Crossfire" (Robert Young as an Irish-Catholic cop in one of the very few movies in which the famine immigration is mentioned), the "Brothers McMullan" (Ed Burn's first outing) and John Ford's (born Sean Feeney) "The Informer." Favorite Irish book? I know I shouldn't say this but, what the hell, it's the truth: James Joyce's "Ulysses." Sue me. Favorite Irish song? "The Parting Glass" (Please feel free to join in singing it at my funeral, which will be at St. Brigid's. Date still to be determined.) Complete this sentence: The most Irish thing about me is . . . My heart.

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