ShamrockMy favorite grandfather used to visit us in New York each spring so he could take me to Jack Dempsey's on St. Paddy's day and then we could walk over to Fifth Avenue to inspect how well they had painted the median stripe green in honor of my birthday. By the time I was five I had figured out that the City of New York had a slightly larger constituency that it was honoring on March 17th; but it was too good a gag for either Granddad or me to want to give up. Reaching the age of 63 seems as much of a wonderment to me as it was to the toddler that there was a wonderful parade for his birthday. Granddad never saw 60, even though he was the oldest survivor of a crew of hundreds of Serbs who worked the Colorado and Arizona mines and then rode the rails to California to work on the Owens Valley aqueduct. If he were here, he would buy all of us a round of Guinness and tell his joke about the Irishman, Englishman and Scot and the fly and the glass of beer.


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