Cincinnati's 2009 Saint Patrick's Day Parade - March 14, 2009
There was once a time when I couldn't imagine not attending Cincinnati's quirky Saint Patrick's Day Parade but, somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit. This year I made it again and was reminded of just why the event is so much fun. Of course, many of the parade's participants might appear in parades anywhere; Things like kilted pipers and leprechauns and cars. Among the cars in this year's parade was what must be the largest herd of DeLoreans alive. I believe there were about fifteen of them including one sporting flux capacitor vents. I suppose that other parades might also have bands that dance just as well as they march and a variety of political supporters. The tiger sided trailer may, in fact, have been in parades in distant lands. It's from the Rochester -- as in New York -- Institute of Technology. But not many parades have either a Crosley "fire truck" or a calliope owned by a goetta company. Cincinnati has both.

Yeah, I know that first post-parade picture is out of focus and badly framed but it sounded so good. As I watched the parade at Fountain Square, I heard my name called and turned around to see Carl, a prominent member of the little group I was part of in those earlier days of regular parade attendance. Carl knows how to enjoy a parade. He was with his son-in-law and, after the parade, the three of us headed over to Arnold's. Arnold's is Cincinnati's oldest bar and for several years the Saint Patrick's Day Parade started almost at its door. That fuzzy picture is of the parade's "Best Vocal Group" singing in Arnold's crowded courtyard. Jim Tarbell, Arnold's former owner, shared a very nice rendition of "Danny Boy" between the scheduled performers. Jim's done a lot in Cincinnati and he'll come up again in a couple of pictures. Inside the bar, a pipe & drum corp helped the festivities along.

The first two pictures of the last row have nothing to do with the parade or the holiday. I couldn't reproduce the conversation, but the Bay Horse was mentioned on our walk to Arnold's. We had incorrectly placed it on Walnut and, spotting the sign and our error on Main, I had to get a picture. The Cafe (Kind of a funny word for the bar I remember.) is gone and just the sign remains. The next picture marks the first time I've seen one of the Toynbee tiles with my own eyes. I've known of the tiles, which are believed to have originated in Philadelphia and which exist as far away as South America, for several years but never thought of them at the right time. There were once three of them in Cincinnati but, apparently, the one at 6th & Walnut is the only one left. Besides owning various Cincinnati establishments and playing harmonica, Jim Tarbell has been a city councilman. When interviewed for a 2001 article about the tiles, part of his response was "We're running out of room. We can't do this anymore: The dead have got to be buried on Jupiter at the very least." After getting my Toynbee tile evidence I passed through Fountain Square where the celebration continued and where carriages awaited. I retrieved my own "carriage" and headed home.

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