This being the season for the “Wearing of the Green” I thought I might take this time to wish my readers a Happy St Patrick’s Day and relate to you the story behind why I didn’t join the Hibernian Society.
Hibernian Society Hall ,1840
Of course, the Irish are famous for blarney, so, in the spirit of the occasion of the Holy Saint, don’t think I might not be taking just a wee bit of artistic license as I weave this tale of Irish revelry.1801. You see, my father, Bernard Ray, was quite the man about town and belonged to numerous clubs and societies, prominent among them the Hibernian Society, an Irish Fellowship Society founded here in 1801. As a young man with rising prospects in the Real estate Industry, he strongly suggested that I join the Irish Brotherhood since it would be good for business.
And so I went with Dad to my first meeting, where the gathered company was excited to be served Eddie Lockwood’s famous spaghetti. Now I knew this recipe, it was my mother’s, the very one she learned in Home Ec class at Memminger: a few bits of tomato perched atop a bed of spaghetti noodles, a thin watery sauce pooled around the bottom of the plate. Manna from Heaven as a child, my brother’s girlfriend, an Italian girl by the name of Angela Bambino, had introduced me to her Italian family’s rich and fragrant “Sunday Sauce”.
I was unimpressed.
After dinner, the festivities began, which consisted of shots! More shots! The brown liquor was flowing!!! The goal: throw down til you fall down! I remember few names from the many introductions made that night but I distinctly remember the huge hangover the next morning!
My dear father was disappointed that I was so unimpressed. I never have had much of a taste for liquor. But, at his insistence, I gave it another try.
At the second meeting, I arrived with an open mind and enjoyed the fellowship. I found myself getting into the “spirit” of the event, but as I was making my way to the bar on my hands and knees, someone stepped on my fingers. That just struck me the wrong way.
And that’s why I never joined the Hibernian Society of Charleston…
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