My father’s name was John Patrick Hogan, and he was first generation Irish-American, from the southside of Chicago, where he grew up in the shadow of the stockyards. He was what they call “black Irish” with curly coal-black hair and brown eyes. He had the Irish wit, loved to tell jokes and stories, drink beer, and he never met a stranger. Like the rest of his family, he loved to read the obituaries, which he always called “the Irish sportspage.” I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot today. Years ago, when my husband and I moved to Savannah, which has the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country, my parents came to visit us for the big weekend. We went to mass in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which is the way all true Irish-Catholic start the big day in Savannah. The church was a sea of green, and I remember many of the men had sprigs of heather pinned to their jacket lapels. Afterwards, we watched the parade, and I remember Daddy nearly fell down laughing when one band came around the square. The band was from a large high school in a rural South Georgia county. As they rounded the square, where the Archbishop and most of the priests from the diocese were seated in the VIP reviewing stand, they broke into a surefire crowd-pleasing number by KC and the Sunshine Band. Yes, complete with appropriate choreography, the band played “SHAKE YOUR BOOTIE”–and all 100-plus shook their booties at the assembled priests, nuns and Archbishop. I think perhaps that band did not get an invitation to march the next year. If you’re looking for an appropriately seasonal book to read for St. Patrick’s Day, you might try IRISH EYES, the last one of the Callahan Garrity mysteries, which I published under my “real” name, which is Kathy Hogan Trocheck.