Everybody is a little bit Irish today. March 17th is St. Patrick's Day. All of the traditions are a bit watered down here in America, except in those cities where the Irish populations are banded together.


The St. Patrick's Day parade in New York is a major event every year.

And there are a few communities across America that definitely lend themselves to St. Patty's day. There's actually a Shamrock, Texas. And there are other Shamrocks in Indiana, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Let's not forget Dublin, Texas, home of the original Dr. Pepper and a grand parade on St. Patrick's Day. There are nine Dublins in the U.S. too. And right here in the Lone Star State at Texas Tech University, there is a stone fragment on display outside the old Electrical Engineering Building that is purported to be a missing fragment of the Blarney Stone. How that was determined is unknown, but the stone has been displayed there since 1939.

There is indeed a real Blarney Stone in Ireland. And it's not easy to kiss. The Blarney castle in Ireland is a fantastic and very old place. Precariously located far above ground level, the Blarney Stone is suspended under a 'ledge' of the castle. You have to contort around and 'crawfish' out on your back into open air a bit to kiss it. Check out the photo here. It's a fairly long way down. Kissing the stone is supposed to endow the kisser with eloquence.

St. Patrick's day is originally a religious celebration centered around the Saint who drove dangerous animals out of Ireland, according to lore. Snakes are generally the predominant animal mentioned.

The most amazing fact to me about St. Patty's day is that there are more Americans of Irish descent than there are Irish in Ireland. The Emerald Isle has a population of about 4.5 million people, and there are 36 million Americans who claim some Irish heritage. My relatives on Mom's side of the family are Downeys, Macphersons, and McCaghrens. Try that last one on for the sound of the brogue. And yes, those Macphersons lend some Scotch to the bloodline.

The Irish are known for the gift of gab, and for telling tall tales. That I suppose means most fisherman are Irish. Tales need to be embellished and exaggerated a bit to hold the listener.

Enjoy St. Patrick's day and do it safely. It's a fun celebration, not necessarily intended to be an 'over-celebration'. See more about St. Patrick's day at glo.msn.com .

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