St. Patty's Day - The Gargus View
Historically, St. Patrick’s Day has been a day spent celebrating the anniversary of the death of the holiday’s namesake, a 5th century patron saint credited with furthering the spread of Catholicism in Ireland. At Mayacama however, it is a day spent wearing green, celebrating the art of drinking heavily, and playing what will surely end up being your worst round of golf all year, unless you’re Kevin Bedsole who had enough birdies and eagles to start his own private aviary. For most of the other attendees, it was the realization that no amount of four leaf clover adorned apparel could save your handicap, especially with George on the coarse breaking protocol on this occasion and generously handing out beers and shots.
So, needless to say, the huddled green masses eventually wandered into our cozy little establishment as they have every year before, defeated by a course that saw more balls lost in one day than probably all of the Emerald Isle. Yet they came happy, to share laughs and stories over cold Guinness and warm corned-beef and cabbage. To an unfamiliar spectator it may seem like nothing more than excessive consumption and friendly 19th hole chatter. To a trained professional however, I see a wonderful close knit family of great people who are happy to call this place home. I mean where else would you have two Italians, Tom Chiurco and Russ Croce, wearing tee shirts claiming they were Irish, be welcomed with open arms by two of the most Irish guys I know, Pat Dugan, and Jim Shepherd; sitting together, with eight bottles of wine between the four of them. Anywhere else in the world, that is a brawl waiting to happen. Speaking of genuinely Irish guys, you can’t forget to mention Pat O’Keefe who left the festivities a little early with his wife. On the way out he says to me in noticeable Gaelic accent, “Mike, were leaving, I was wondering if you can get me a cab?” In true Mayacama fashion my honest answer was, ”Sure, were you thinking Napa or Alexander Valley?” After a few seconds of a puzzled look, I realized that Mayacama had indeed institutionalized me, and I went to the phone to call him a taxi.
So the night marches on to the sound of great Irish music by a band we later found out to be called “The Shots”. Earlier guesses were Sham-Wow, or the Potato Famine Revolution, both of which were obviously wrong. Then my eye wanders to the noticeable absence of any green clothes on a Mr. Jonathan Wilhelm, who instead was clad in blue on blue. For anyone who might have given him a bad time, I did a little bit of research, and actually blue was the original color of St. Patty’s Day. So I’m sure he was simply exercising his right to be historically accurate…..yeah.
By 10 o’clock or so, the crowd has thinned out and only the tried and true Saint Patty’s Day soldiers remain on the battlefield, a battlefield littered with beer glasses, flashing green necklaces, and empty wine bottles. I can’t help but think, as I’m standing by the bar, of an evening some years ago when I saw this stunning, charismatic, smiling lady named Ali, doing Irish car-bombs with a bunch of 20 something guys, their mouths agape in complete awe. I think of how much this place must mean to me, to us, all of us. The people here share losses and tears, laughs and beers. We wine and dine, and pass the time. And at some point we come to the conclusion, that there is no pot of gold, in fact the rainbow ends right here, in this great place we call Mayacama. So lads and lasses raise your glasses. Heres to you…Saint!
Written by Michael Gargus
Assistant Wine Director, Mayacama Golf Club