Green may be this year’s color trend, but for Rumson, it is symbolic.
It stands for much more than the shade of a shamrock, some of which could be spotted in windows and on doors of many borough homes and businesses. It is the symbol of a hopeful spring, and of rebuilding a community post-Hurricane Sandy.
The greening of Rumson for its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade Sunday, March 10, was a site to behold: marching bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers in traditional kilts and volunteer fire departments from near and far winding through the borough, along River and East River roads, to cheers and smiling faces. I was happily among them.
I consider Rumson my second home: I had my first date at the former Hook, Line and Sinker (now Undici restaurant), was married at Holy Cross Church, my engagement ring and wedding band came from Goldtinker; I shared countless meals with friends and family at Salt Creek Grille (and the former Fisherman’s Wharf), Barnacle Bill’s, What’s Your Beef, Val’s Tavern, the former Briody’s (now Molly Maguire’s) and Fromagerie (now David Burke’s signature restaurant); and I walked over the bridge from Sea Bright (my family’s summer and weekend escape) to spend sleepy afternoons on the swings at Huddy’s Leap, envisioning my own adventures of 18th-century spies and Colonial pirates.
I was truly privileged to be part of last Sunday’s historic event, what I’m sure will be a long-standing tradition. Afterward at friend Cynthia Peterson’s Irish hoolie (Gaelic for party) while nibbling on thick slices of soda bread slathered with butter, I was reminded of the importance of this holiday during my childhood. There was much pageantry surrounding St. Patrick’s Day in my hometown Catholic parish in Queens. There would be a week’s worth of recitals, including Irish songs and step dancing; a break from our school studies each March 17 to watch the televised parade along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue; and the annual spring bake sale, where soda bread from the kitchens of the Irish ladies of St. Francis of Assisi parish was a coveted item at 21-07 46th St. I’m not Irish, but I wanted to be – at least in March.
And there I was on Sunday, feeling every bit Irish wrapped in my ivory cable-knit sweater, and more importantly, home again. Slainté!
Ellen Cancellieri McCarthy,
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