Just a reminder to everyone that Saturday I’ll be hosting the Non-Alcoholic St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Moons Field. We’re going to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the way our ancestors would have wanted: stone cold sober.
Why do we have to celebrate being Irish by drinking too much? The thought itself is offensive! My great grandfather Shane McWood fled Dublin after being the preeminent, and only, voice for the Irish prohibition movement of the early 20th century. Upon reaching Ellis Island, he changed his name from Shane McWood to Sean Wood, not only to Americanize, but also not to be recognized by an Irish drinking song that was really popular in New York at the time:
“Oh Shane McWood, Shane McWood
Tried to take our brew away
So if you see him sneakin’ ‘bout
Punch his face and stab his eyes out
Bite his toes and cut his throat
Tie his nipples to a galloping horse
Stuff a bottle up his arse
And hang him by his pecker
Yes, hang him by his pecker”
Children’s songs were much more violent back then. So my great grandfather changed his name. But soon, other Irish in the Lower East Side began to be suspicious of his true identify. So he packed and moved to the most obscure town he could find: Byron Valley, known today as Byron City.
He even knew our city’s founder, Byron Wilkes. When they first met, an old and withered Byron called him a dirty potato-eating mick and spat in his face, and Sean Wood stuck a fork in his shoulder. They remained close friends throughout their lives.
So come celebrate your Irish Heritage without being a nuisance! See you all Saturday.