Saturday, March 17, 2012

Erin Go F*ck Yourself

With us to mark March 17 is everybody's third-favorite Fox blonde, Miss June Haver.  She started her career as a teenager in the formidable shadow of Alice Faye and Betty Grable, and despite a couple of good pictures between the mid '40s and early '50s, things never really progressed much from there.  She ended her days as Mrs. Fred MacMurray, and I only hope she thought it was all, gallery sessions like this one included, worth it.

I've never much liked St. Patrick's Day.  My distaste was formed in childhood, when my stoutly Protestant family ("we 're Scotch-Irish, dear, not Papists") made me wear orange to school, particularly amusing during the two-year spell in which, for reasons far too dull to recount, I ended up at a Catholic school. [Note to parents: involving your offspring in complex, centuries-old internecine strife in which you've not really had a stake in 200-odd years?  Not cool.]

The aversion really crystallized, though, after I moved to New York.  In the years since I wandered the hallways of St. Dymphna's Academy in a spitball-riddled burnt-orange double-knit turtleneck on March 17, the whole St. Patty's Day phenomenon had steamrolled into the drunken behemoth it is today.  It was just my luck that my second flat in the big city, off Seventh Avenue in the no-man's land between Chelsea and the Village, was next door to a drinking establishment that, once a year, traded on its vaguely Celtic name to become Party Central.  It was indescribable - the noise, the crowds, the almost unbelievable volume and variety of effluents that would be left behind.  Now, 20 years on, I can still hardly behold a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" button or leprechaun novelty hat without a shudder, recalling the state of the sidewalks, gutters, and, all too often, building lobby, not just on the day of days, but in the leadup thereto and aftermath therefrom.

Fortunately, outside the U.S., the day is marked, if at all, in much less extreme ways.  I've gotten to enjoy, if rather meanly, sometimes going out with newly expatted friends or colleagues on or about the Big Day to the local Irish pub (and every city in the world, I'm convinced, has one), just to see their faces fall when they behold the absence of green beer, the genial air of propriety, and the total lack of projectile vomiting.  It's cold comfort, after the various traumas that came before, but it's something...

Image borrowed from the awesomely intimidating VintageGal.


  1. I'm wearing my orange fleece jammie top RIGHT NOW.

  2. "Itwas indescribable - the noise, the crowds, the almost unbelievable volume and variety of effluents that would be left behind."'ve done an uncanny job of describing New Orleans on a given Wednesday night.

  3. P: On behalf of Protestants and persecuted '70s teenagers everywhere, Thank you.

    J: Yes, but you know we led very sheltered lives on West 14th Street back in those days...

  4. Miss Haver was no fool, she married a very rich man.

  5. He was also, I hear, 'gifted'.

  6. i worked with her sister evelyn, who was quite sweet.
    june never came by to say, "hi" at the sweat shop.