My favourite memory of St. Patrick’s Day began about six years ago.
My grandma had always invited my family over for a quick visit where inside my grandparents’ house were shades of green galore. The images of shamrocks and pictures of past trips to Ireland filled my eyes. It’s her favourite holiday and she takes it very seriously.
The sounds of songs such as Danny Boy filled my ears as her CDs played during our visit. I remember her always offering my dad a Guinness. It was a beer that I had heard about, but never tried.
But as the calendar rolled around to my nineteenth birthday, I knew it was my time to shine. My moment had come to finally consume my first dark brew. It certainly did not look all that appetizing with its dark colour, but what did I know as a barely legal beer connoisseur.
The drink tasted exactly how I thought it would. It was a rough taste that almost made me think it would give Buckley’s cough syrup a run for its money as an awful tasting liquid. “It puts hair on your chest,” my grandma said.
A couple of years had passed since I had gone to her house for the annual St. Patrick’s Day visit. I had always made the trek down the 401 to Kingston. Aberdeen Street in the Queen’s University student ghetto was the place to be and I attended along with all my other friends. However, last year was the first that I hadn’t made the trek to the Limestone City.
This time, I’d be in Cornwall with a local country and Celtic music band that I am in. We played two shows that day; the first had a special member in the crowd. It was my grandma, along with other members of the Kennedy clan, watching me play Irish tunes with the band. It was the first time my grandma had seen me sing or play my guitar.
After our first set, I went over to talk to her and the look on her face was one I will always remember. “I can’t believe you can do that up there, I am shocked,” she said.
After a few minutes of talking, I decided now would be the best time to have the annual Guinness. I took a sip and it still tasted the same as when I first had it. The same words echoed from my grandma as I struggled sipping the pint.
“That will put some hair on your chest.”

by Cam Kennedy, Press reporter