Monday, March 19, 2007

The Strange Luck of Lady Jameson

The whiskey gods smiled warmly upon me and on Saturday and I got to help dye the Chicago River green. I was provided with 2 hotel rooms on Friday night on the 30th floor of the Sheraton. Colleen and I shared one room and Donovan and cousins Michael and Peter shared the other.
Clockwise from center: Dex, me, Peter, Donovan, Michael, Tom

At 8 am Tommy joined us for breakfast with tons of other people in the hotel bar. The sweet, young bartenders poured freehand shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey into your coffee. Here we go! The Emerald Society (police bagpipe band) showed up about the same time as my mom, Meander, Dex and my grandma. Dex was happy that the band had such a loud rhythm section and proceeded to get his groove on.

Next, Jason Thomas from WXRT presented me with a plaque commemorating the day I got lucky and dyed green. (See my look of shock re: all the ribald talk in front of my grandmother. Actually, I'm being warned that if I spill the dye it will never come off and if I break Tracy from Jameson's mother's Waterford biscuit jar -- follow that? --I will sleep with the fishes.)

Next we paraded from the hotel bar to the river bank at Cityfront Plaza. Hooray!(I think the reason the fates decreed I should win this silly contest was because I spent 10 years training in the rarely useful art of walking without spilling in my years as a bartender/ coctail waitress.)

Here we are descending the stairs with bulky, breaky things and the momentum of 75 people behind us. The blonde in the green track jacket at center is Tracy from Jameson. She was lots of fun and did an excellent job putting the whole thing together.

Here is another picture of the Emerald Society. If you look in the background, you will see hundreds lined up along the railings. That's probably only about half of the spectators.

My hand in dyeing the river was symbolic. The real work was done by the gentleman from the Plumbers' Union. About 42 years ago, a plumber walked into the Union Rep's office covered in green. The Rep asked him about it and he explained he had been using the dye to suss out the source of a sewage leak into the river, in order to correct it. The Union Rep mentioned it to Mayor Daley (I) and the plumbers were given permission to dye the river.

Pictured here are Ma, me, Colleen and Grandma. My Ma took all of the pictures posted here. Oh -- and a big happy birthday to Colleen today!

Next, I dumped a Waterford jar full of orange-turning-green-dye into the river... the plumbers dyed it from the boat.

And here's a picture of the green Chicago River from our hotel room. Notice how the dye seems to stop exactly at that bridge at mid- frame...


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