Long, long ago and long ago it was, as the Irish storytellers begin a major yarn. There was a President of the United States who knocked more fun out of Saint Patrick’s Day than any president in history.
Today, in President Reagan’s presidential library in Simi Valley, CA, his actual Air Force One holds pride of place, but right behind that significant plane is the Ronald Reagan Pub, which Reagan had transported brick by brick from his ancestral home of Ballyporeen in Tipperary.
Reagan was an Irish storyteller par excellence, but some of the antics on St.Patrick’ Day would be hard to match.
One year it was actual leprechauns or dwarves or little people who made their appearance during a cabinet meeting. Reagan was laughing so hard he didn’t notice one had crawled into his lap and another had pretended to shoot him.
All good fun except for the Irish Ambassador who looked aghast.
Then there was the Patrick’s Day bowler hat he wore during the day, dressed otherwise in his always impeccable suit and tie, the jaunty green hat would have made a cat laugh which was truly the intention.
On his trip to Ireland, he drank Guinness with a priest in the Ronald Reagan Pub and reminisced fondly about his Irish roots.
Somewhere up there he might be enjoying another pint as Nancy has finally joined him.
Erin Go Bragh!