The Last St. Patrick's
By John R. Larson
When we moved to Stiles in 1945 we were surprised to find that St Pat's Church in Stiles had a party at Stiles hall on St Patrick's Day because it comes in the middle of lent. We were told the members of St. Patrick's church had a special dispensation to hold a party on that day. It sounded unbelievable to us but we went to see what it was all about. The parish priest never came to it and the door was guarded by some fellows and if they didn't recognize you as a member of the church you weren't allowed in.
started out as a pot luck supper
that turned out to be more cake and cookies that any thing
Then the entertainment on the stage started. They were
put on by church members. There was lots of singing and
playing to go along with the skits. No one knew what was
happen next. After every one laughed so hard there sides ached they
the bar down stairs, the band started playing and the dance started.
I remember the last St. Patrick's day Party quite well because my mother talked my dad and I into doing a skit. It was about 1953 and there was an abundance of young talent. Patsy Jones had a beautiful singing voice, and Buddy Fanello, Carl Deverox and the Reynold's all sang and played instruments. The big surprise was Doc. Younger. He dressed up in a flowered dress and did a solo skit. It was very funny and I kept thinking that dad and I were going to bomb. We could never top Doc. and the show he put on.
Finely our turn came and we went back stage and I put on a bright green sports coat and a straw hat. I also had a pocket watch on a chain. My dad put on a heavy winter coat and a leather cap with fur ear laps and visor. He had one ski and one snow shoe. We didn't do much rehearsing at all. I said to my dad, “here goes,” and walked out on the stage and started spinning the pocket watch with the chain. The audience had a shocked expression on their faces when they saw me and I thanked them for coming to the annual St. Patrick's party and how happy I was to be here and other dribble. My dad came slowly out of the shadows and every one turned there attention to him. I turned and acted surprised to see him and asked him where he came from? My dad said he had been traveling a long ways and was looking for Stiles. I asked him about the ski and snow shoe and he said he had another pair just like them at home.
Then some one started laughing. The laughing become contagious and soon every one was laughing as hard as they could. All my dad and I had to do was to stand there with a dumb look on our faces. They couldn't hear us if we did say anything more, which was a good thing because we didn't have much more to say anyway. I thought we had better take our bows and get off the stage before some one busted a gut or had a laughing fit. So that's what we did.
Then they opened the bar up downstairs and the dance band started playing and the party got a little out of hand. But what really ended the St. Pat's Annual Party is the fact that some of the fellows ended up going home with someone other than there wife.