Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fun-Loving Spirit Is Always on Tap

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fun-Loving Spirit Is Always on Tap

Article excerpt


ST. AUGUSTINE - When word came from Ann O'Malley's Irish Pub that they wanted me to judge their second annual pirate costume contest, in coordination with the Sept. 19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I ship-jacked a vessel and sailed south. Personal motivation varies among individuals, of course, but Sharon Cunningham, proprietor of Ann O'Malley's along with her husband, John, clearly reads her beloved Times-Union enough to know of my passion for theme parties.

I felt as a judge, I should appear neutral and without a costume of my own, despite the fact I do have a pirate-ish ensemble already on hand. C'mon, people, this was hardly my first pirate party. Imagine my relief that I'd opted to dress as a landlubber when I arrived and discovered the contestants actually paid attention to historical accuracy. They would have laughed my fake, plastic hook-hand and head wrap purchased at Bike Week right off the plank.

My co-judge, too, kept an eye out for authenticity among the 20-plus contestants, telling me, "Pirates wouldn't have worn boots or Mardi Gras beads." In hindsight, I should have known the scene wouldn't be a Captain Morgan look-alike meet-up, what with all the history buffs down in that town.

That Ann O'Malley's would even offer a pirate costume contest, much less pull off a successful, well-attended affair, speaks to the fun-loving spirit that runs through that sweet ol' historic house. The gathering even turned musical, with coordinated choruses of pirate songs sung by men and women holding their pewter mugs high. Minstrels tooted away on recorder-type instruments; one even brought his squeeze box, which my mother demanded to play, insisting her years of accordion lessons would transfer. They didn't.

O'Malley's fun promotions don't stop with pirates. They'll pour you a $1 Yuengling when it rains. …

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