There is no question that the weather has changed. It has! It is warm every day now. In fact, I turned the air conditioning on for the first time this year last night!
Key West’s cold time is generally mid Decemeber to mid February. This year it ran an extra month. Till mid March!
I am glad the cold is behind us!
Today is St. Patrick’s Day! A venerable day!
Many people go crazy on St. Patrick’s Day. Party time!
It never made sense to me. I have never participated as a mature adult. But must admit that I did as a young man. While in college!
I went to college in New York City. Manhattan College. A Catholic institution run by Christian Brothers.
New York City and St. Patrick’s Day are synominous. A big parade and an even bigger party afterwards!
It was my sophmore year. I was in the Air Force ROTC. Ergo, I marched in the parade.
I enjoyed the march. It was a big deal! Exciting! I found the discipline of marching interesting. The point of the parade I enjoyed most was when we passed the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Cardinal would be sitting there in all his fine regalia. We would do a sharp eyes right as we went by. A wow!
Then following the parade, it was party time! I think every college from several hundred miles around came to New York for a big time fun day!
The issue was where to party. A private party was considered best. That meant a hotel room.
The hotels did not want us. No college students/parties! Hotel staffs went out of their way to discourage college students. College students were up to the task, however.
We had planned our St. Patrick Day onslaught about 2 months in advance. With ingenuity, of course. Remember, we were tomorrow’s leaders. So smart we were!
One of my friends had previously flunked out of Pennsylvania. Before you think ill of him, he did finally succeeed and became an outstanding doctor later in life. But at that phase of his existence, his father had reentered him in Manhattan to start anew.
While at the University of Pennsylvania, he had been a fraternity man. He contacted one of his fraternity brothers and the following scenerio was decided upon. The frat brother at Penn U wrote a letter to the Biltmore Hotel advising he would be in New York on business for one night, March 17th of course, and required a room. He got the room and a written reservation paper. Which he forwarded to my friend now at Manhattan.
My friend was not in the ROTC. So he was not in uniform. He dressed appropriately however. Suit, tie, dress coat and a homburg. A homburg for the unaware is a very formal man’s hat.
He looked the part!
He came with a suitacase. The suitcase was a large one and loaded with booze. The bottles of liquor made it extremely heavy!
We were worried about the check in. We were watching from a corner of the lobby. He got away with it!
There was one moment of concern, however. When the bellboy bent down to pick up the suitcase! His eyes bulged and he stopped in mid air! The bag was heavy! Rupture heavy!
The bell boy looked up at my friend and suddenly smiled. He knew what was going on. And fortunately for us, he did not care! He lifted that bag and away they went.
I am sure he was given a big tip! Probably $5 at a time when $.25 a bag was the going rate.
At some point we all made it up to the room. It was difficult getting there. No one was going to let me on an elevator in my Air Force ROTC uniform. I opted for the stairs. There was a security guard. I said to myself, what the hell! I faked to the right and went left around him. He chased me up a couple of floors and then gave up. I was much younger than him!
The room was packed when I arrived. The party was on big time! Guys, girls and booze. What a wonderful combination!
The young ladies came from all over. Many colleges were represented.
None of us could handle the liquor. We were too inexperienced!
Space was a problem. Where to sort of be alone with the opposite sex. The outside window sill was in use. The closet, also. I was young and smart. I ended up with this cute little preppy thing. I directed her to the bathroom and its bathtub. I took one of the pillows from the bed with me. We snuggled in the tub, with the curtain drawn of course. The bathroom continued in full use, but we were oblvious to its visitors and they to us.
Lest any one misunderstand, sex was limited to necking in those day. With very little touching, if at all. It was the mid 1950s. The 1960s and all its freedoms had not yet arrived.
At some point, my lady friend and I fell asleep. All of a sudden we were awakened by some older man in a suit. An assistant manager! We were told to leave. The room was empty. Apparently the party became too noisy, was discovered and management broke it up! We were the last to be discovered.
My lady friend was drunk. Oblivious to the world! Could hardly stand!
I asked her where she was from. She said Marymount. Marymount was a Catholic girls’ college in those days. Oh, those Catholics!
What to do with her? We were sort of bound at the hip. I could not just leave her.
I decided to take her back to Marymount. Ever the gentleman even then!
The train was required. I got her to the lower level of Grand Central. Note I am half carrying her. She was gone! I figured out which train to take. Got us to the gate! And luck befell both of us!
Her girl friends were there. Happy to have found her. They took her and took over.
That was my St. Patrick’s day that year. However, there is more to the story.
A week later Marymount was having a dance. I decided to go. I wanted to meet the young lady again. After all, I was her saviour!
I saw her at the dance. I went up to her expecting a big hug and thank you. No way! She looked at me blindly! Did not even want to talk to me. I felt like an ass!
I explained the party, our time in the tub, my taking her to the train station, etc. She recalled none of it and thought I was nuts!
She turned her back and walked away.
That was the end of our relationship.
They say good deeds never go for naught. Here is one that did.
Such is life!
I gave up partying on St. Patrick’s day. Bath tubs are too hard to sleep in!