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Good Mousekeeping — Part I

Jim Korkis returns with another fun multi-part tale for JHM readers. This time around, Korkis tells the tale of “Good Housekeeping”‘s Disney Pages.



Some of the most beautiful Disney paper collectibles from the Golden Era of Disney animation are the 125 color pages that appeared between 1934 and 1944 in the pages of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine. These artistic contributions often showcased upcoming Disney animated cartoons.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine, founded by journalist-businessman Clark W. Bryan, made its debut on May 2, 1885. It was one of several popular women’s magazines founded in the 1880s and 1890s which provided information about running a home as well as a broad range of literary offerings.

Several well-known writers contributed to GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine including Somerset Maugham, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Evelyn Waugh. Beginning in 1900, the magazine sponsored an “Experimental Station” to test consumer goods and make recommendations to readers. This grew into the Good Housekeeping Institute which awarded selected products its “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”.

The magazine has survived into the 21st Century (winning the prestigious National Magazine Award in 1989, 1993 and 1999) and publishes thirteen editions worldwide making it an internationally recognized brand. These modern editions continue to focus on “the modern home and a woman’s quality of life” with health updates, parenting advice, personal stories and investigations into topics and products of interest.

The April 1934 issue of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING magazine introduced four new features as part of a general revamping of the publication. The cover boldly proclaimed: “Beginning 4 New Features by Faith Baldwin, Walt Disney, Frances Perkins, Countess Larisch”.

The Disney Studio was barely ten years old and Mickey Mouse was just over five years old but the reputation of Walt Disney and his animated alter ego were already strongly branded in the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.

However, in the days before television and video cassettes, Disney had to come up with ingenious ways to publicize its product. An animated cartoon might only be shown at a movie theater for a week or two before being replaced along with the main feature by another film. Disney cleverly turned to a variety of merchandise as a method of keeping characters highly visible during these times.

Obviously having a full color page each issue with Disney characters excited audiences to look forward to Disney’s newest cartoon especially since that preview appeared in one of the best known and respected magazines of the time. It was a clever combination of entertainment and advertising that would become a hallmark of Disney marketing through the years.

There were 125 installments, beginning in April 1934 and ending with the September 1944 issue, which showcased perhaps the most important decade in the Disney Studio’s history where Walt Disney and his studio redefined animation as not just an entertaining craft but also as a true art form.

With a few exceptions, these installments were single pages that initially publicized upcoming Disney animated offerings in art and text. (The final twelve pages in the series from October 1943 to September 1944 were christened “New Tales of Mother Goose as Told By Walt Disney” and featured the popular Disney characters in rewritten Mother Goose nursery rhymes.)

No installment appeared in the August 1939 issue and no explanation was given. The December 1940 issue substituted for the upcoming cartoon preview an unusual page featuring a three-dimensional drawing of Mickey Mouse, looking very much like a photograph of a doll, which announced the “Good Housekeeping Toy Festival” and a listing of new toys for Christmas 1940.

The August 1942 page about “The Victory March” was obviously inspired by the twelve page book put together by the Disney Studios also entitled THE VICTORY MARCH and encouraged children to buy savings stamps (to use in the purchase of savings bonds) for the war effort. The July 1943 installment resembled more of a Pluto comic strip and was obviously intended to publicize the feature VICTORY THROUGH AIRPOWER although no Disney traditional characters appeared in that film about air superiority.

Of interest to Disney collectors was the March 1942 issue which in addition to the usual one page promoting the newest cartoon (GOOFY-THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE) had a one page article entitled “Rough Sketches by Walt Disney” which had fifteen comical sketches which were “submitted … at the request of the Office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Poster designs of this type will be seen in the near future.” Many of the designs depicted Japanese racial stereotypes and all dealt with home front issues.

The first nine installments were devoted to the Silly Symphony series and began with a one page preview of the now classic THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANTS. Donald Duck made an appearance in the third installment because of his debut in THE WISE LITTLE HEN Silly Symphony. (Mickey Mouse did not appear until the tenth installment which was devoted to Mickey’s first Technicolor cartoon, THE BAND CONCERT.)

The Silly Symphonies which began in 1929 with the release of SKELETON DANCE were a diverse series of animated cartoons without continuing characters. Walt Disney and his staff used the series to experiment with techniques and technology from three-strip Technicolor to the realistic movement of human characters to the multi-plane camera which were later incorporated into the first cel animated feature film, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. A little over a year after the release of that significant film, the Silly Symphony series officially ended in 1939. (The occasional non-series cartoons made after 1939 were designated as “specials”.)

The Silly Symphony series did develop memorable characters like the Three Little Pigs, Little Hiawatha, and Elmer the Elephant that went on to appear in the Disney comic books and on merchandise items. However, since each cartoon was unique, the advance appearance in GOOD HOUSEKEEPING served as effective advertising to help get potential audiences excited to see these non-Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy cartoons.

An interesting sidenote is that Dell Comics beginning in 1952 produced a series of nine 100-page comic book giants that contained adaptations of the Silly Symphony cartoons as well as other stories that didn’t comfortably fit into the other Disney titles they were publishing. The first six issues of those giants feature a one page “New Tales From Old Mother Goose” installment. Issues one and two featured reprints from the 1943 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING pages while issues 3, 5, and 6 featured a new installment drawn by Paul Murry and issue 4 featured a new installment drawn by Tony Strobl.

The GOOD HOUSEKEEPING pages were not complete and faithful adaptations of the animated cartoon stories but merely a segment from the cartoon often with a different ending to make it a cohesive story and to have an amusing final gag. For instance, in GOOFY’S GLIDER (April 1941), Goofy converts his ill-fated aeronautical creation into a boat and finally into a submarine which is not an activity mirrored in the popular short cartoon of the same name. The cartoon short ends with Goofy orbiting the earth in his glider.

However, the design of Goofy and his glider mirror those same images from the cartoon which makes these installments a valuable record of character design and development of characters during this time period. For instance, CANINE CADDY (August 1941) has some of the only accurate artistic re-creations of the short-lived experiment of giving Mickey Mouse “two-toned” three-dimensional ears.

Some of the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING installments have no clear direct connection to a Disney animated short. For instance, the March 1938 page has Mickey Mouse with an old-fashioned hand cranked motion picture camera and Donald Duck with a megaphone directing Pluto with typical disastrous results. The July 1940 page has an ethnically caricatured genie appearing from a magic lamp with Mickey Mouse ordering the genie to wash Pluto and build Pluto a brand new dog house. An intriguing possibility is that these pages and others like them may have been inspired by stories in development at the time.

These pages were done in full color until January 1942 when they converted to one or two color pages (usually a blue or a red or an orange in a variety of intensities) until the end of the series.

The November/December 1937 installments were expanded to several pages to recount the entire story of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS which was the first cel-animated feature film and premiered December 21, 1937. The illustrations appear to be pre-production storyboard drawings and the text and art were later adapted into other formats including a 1938 Grosset and Dunlap book entitled SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS.

The October/November 1939 installments were also expanded to several pages to recount the entire story of PINOCCHIO even though the film would not premiere until February 7, 1940. The artwork and text in these installments were used in one form or another in several of the PINOCCHIO books which were published in 1939-1940.

By the time of the release of “Bambi” in August 13, 1942, the adaptation only ran as three separate single two-color pages in the September, October and November 1942 issues.

SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and BAMBI were the only features adapted to the Good Housekeeping pages. SALUDOS AMIGOS was showcased as a series of “Good Neighbor”comic strips that utilized characters from the film while other films from this time period like DUMBO or FANTASIA were not adapted at all.

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Jens Dahlmann of LongHorn Steakhouse has lots of great tips when it comes to grilling



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Sure, for some folks, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks. But for the 75% of all Americans who own a grill or a smoker, the Fourth is our Nation’s No. 1 holiday when it comes to grilling. Which is why 3 out of 4 of those folks will spend some time outside today working over a fire.

But here’s the thing: Though 14 million Americans can cook a steak with confidence because they actually grill something every week, the rest of us – because we use our grill or smoker so infrequently … Well, let’s just say that we have no chops when it comes to dealing with chops (pork, veal or otherwise).

So what’s a backyard chef supposed to in a situation like this when there’s so much at steak … er … stake? Turn to someone who really knows their way around a grill for advice. People like Jens Dahlmann, the Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef for Darden Restaurant’s LongHorn Steakhouse brand.

Given that Jens’ father & grandfather were chefs, this is a guy who literally grew up in a kitchen. In his teens & twenties, Dahlmann worked in hotels & restaurants all over Switzerland & Germany. Once he was classically trained in the culinary arts, Jens then  jumped ship. Well, started working on cruise ships, I mean.

Anyway … While working on Cunard’s Sea Goddess, Dahlmann met Sirio Maccioni, the founder of Le Cirque 2000. Sirio was so impressed with Jens’ skills in the kitchen that he offered him the opportunity to become sous-chef at this New York landmark. After four years of working in Manhattan, Dahlmann then headed south to become executive chef at Palm Beach’s prestigious Café L’Europe.

Jens Dahlmann back during his Disney World days

And once Jens began wowing foodies in Florida, it wasn’t all that long ’til the Mouse came a-calling. Mickey wanted Dahlmann to shake things up in the kitchen over at WDW’s Flying Fish Café. And he did such a good job with that Disney’s Boardwalk eatery the next thing Jens knew, he was then being asked to work his magic with the menu at the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill.

From there, Dahlmann had a relatively meteoric rise at the Mouse House. Once he became Epcot’s Food & Beverage general manager, it was only a matter of time before he wound up as the executive chef in charge of this theme park’s annual International Food & Wine Festival. Which – under Jens’ guidance – experienced some truly explosive growth.

“When I took on Food & Wine, that festival was only 35 days long and had gross revenues of just $5.5 million. When I left Disney in 2016, Food & Wine was now over 50 days long and that festival had gross revenues of $22 million,” Dahlmann admitted during a recent sit-down. “I honestly loved those 13 years I spent at Disney. When I was working there, I learned so much because I was really cooking for America.”

And it was exactly that sort of experience & expertise that Darden wanted to tap into when they lured Jens away from Mickey last year to become LongHorn Steakhouse’s new Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef. But today … Well, Dahlmann is offering tips to those of us who are thinking about cooking steak tips for the Fourth.

Photo by Jim Hill

“When you’re planning on grilling this holiday, if you’re looking for a successful result, the obvious place to start is with the quality of the meat you plan on cooking for your friends & family. If you want the best results here, don’t be cheap when you go shopping. Spend the money necessary for a fresh filet or a New York strip. Better yet a Ribeye, a nice thick one with good marbling. Because when you look at the marbling on a steak, that’s where all the flavor happens,” Jens explained. “That said, you always have to remember that — the higher you go with the quality of your meat — the less time you’re going to want that piece of meat to spend on the grill.”

And speaking of cooking … Before you even get started here, Jens suggests that you first take the time to check over all of your grilling equipment. Making sure that the grill itself is first scraped clean & then properly oiled before you then turn up the heat.

“If you’re working with a dirty grill, when you go to turn your meat, it may wind up sticking to the grill. Or maybe those spices that you’ve just so carefully coated your steak with will wind up sticking to the grill, rather than your meat,” Dahlmann continued. “Which is why it’s always worth it to spend a few minutes prior to firing up your grill properly cleaning & oiling it.”

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of heat … Again, before you officially get started grilling here, Jens says that it’s crucial to check your temperature gauges. Make sure that your char grill is set at 550 (so that it can then properly handle the thicker cuts of meat) and your flattop is set at 425 (so it can properly sear thinner pieces of meat).

Okay. Once you’ve bought the right cuts of quality meat, properly cleaned & oiled your grill, and then made sure that everything’s set at the right temperature (“If you can only stand to hold your hand directly over the grill for two or three seconds, that’s the right amount of heat,” Dahlmann said), it’s now time to season your steaks.

“Don’t be afraid to be bold here. You can’t be shy when it comes to seasoning your meat. You want to give it a nice coating. Largely because — if you’re using a char grill — a lot of that seasoning is just going to fall off anyway,” Jens stated. “It’s up to you to decide what sort of seasoning you want to use here. Even just some salt & pepper will enhance a steak’s flavor.”

Then – according to Dahlmann – comes the really tough part. Which is placing your meat on the grill and then fighting the urge to flip it too early or too often.

“The biggest mistake that a lot of amateur cooks make is that they flip the steak too many times. The real key to a well-cooked piece of meat is just let it be, “Jens insisted. “Of course, if you’re serving different cuts of meat at your Fourth of July feast, you always want to put your biggest thickest steak on the grill first. If you’re also cooking a New York Strip, you want to put that one on a few minutes later. But after that, just let the grill do its job and flip your meat a total of three or four times, once every three minutes or so.”

Of course, the last thing you want to do is overcook a quality piece of meat. Which is why Dahlmann suggests that – when it comes to grilling steaks – if you’re going to err, err on the side of undercooking.

“You can always put a piece of meat back on the grill if it’s slightly undercooked. When you over-cook something, all you can do then is start over with a brand-new piece of meat,” Jens said. “Just be sure that you’re using the correct cut of meat for the cooking result you’re aiming for. If someone wants a rare or medium rare steak, you should go with a thicker cut of steak. If one of your guests wants their steak cooked medium or well, it’s best to start with a thinner cut of meat.”

Photo by Jim Hill

As you can see, the folks at Longhorn take grilling steaks seriously. How seriously? Just last week at Darden Corporate Headquarters in Orlando, seven of these brand’s top grill masters (who – after weeks of regional competitions – had been culled from the 491 restaurants that make up this chain) competed for a $10,000 prize in the Company’s second annual Steak Master Series. And Dahlmann was one of the people who stood in Darden’s test kitchens, watching like a hawk as each of the contestants struggled to prepare six different dishes in just 20 minutes according to Longhorn Steakhouse’s exacting standards.

“I love that Darden does this. Recognizing the best of the best who work this restaurant,” Jens concluded. “We have a lot of people here who are incredibly knowledgeable & passionate when it comes to grilling.”

Speaking of which … If today’s story doesn’t include the exact piece of info that you need to properly grill that T-bone, just whip out your iPhone & text GRILL to 55702. Or – better yet – visit prior to firing up your grill or smoker later today. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont



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Some people travel halfway ‘around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. If you’re more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT. Where – over the first weekend in June – you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers.

Now in its 16th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party / gallery walk. But then – come Saturday morning – Main Street in Brattleboro is lined with thousands of bovine fans.

Photo by Jim Hill

They’ve staked out primo viewing spots and set up camp chairs hours ahead of time. Just so these folks can then have a front row seat as this year’s crop of calves (which all come from local farms & 4-H clubs) are paraded through the streets.

Photo by Jim Hill

Viewed from curbside, Strolling of the Heifers is kind of this weird melding of a sincere small town celebration and Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade. Meaning that – for every entry that actually acknowledged this year’s theme (i.e. “Dance to the Moosic”) — …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something completely random, like this parade’s synchronized shopping cart unit.

Photo by Jim Hill

And for every piece of authentic Americana (EX: That collection of antique John Deere tractors that came chugging through the city) …

Photo by Jim Hill

… there was something silly. Like – say – a woman dressed as a Holstein pushing a baby stroller through the streets. And riding in that stroller was a pig dressed in a tutu.

Photo by Jim Hill

And given that this event was being staged in the Green Mountain State & all … Well, does it really surprise you to learn that — among the groups that marched in this year’s Strolling of the Heifers – was a group of eco-friendly folks who, with their  chants of “We’re Number One !,” tried to persuade people along the parade route not to flush the toilet after they pee. Because – as it turns out – urine can be turned into fertilizer.

Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of fertilizer … At the tail end of the parade, there was a group of dedicated volunteers who were dealing with what came out of the tail end of all those cows.

Photo by Jim Hill

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers concluded at the Brattleboro town common. Where event attendees could then get a closer look at some of the featured units in this year’s parade…

Photo by Jim Hill

… or perhaps even pet a few of the participants.

Photo by Jim Hill

But as for the 90+ calves who took part in the 2017 edition of Strolling of the Heifers, once they reached the town common, it was now time for a nosh or a nap.

Photo by Jim Hill

Elsewhere on the common, keeping with this year’s “Dance to the Moosic” theme, various musical groups performed in & around the gazebo throughout the afternoon.

Photo by Jim Hill

While just across the way – keeping with Brattleboro’s tradition of showcasing the various artisans who live & work in the local community – some pretty funky pieces were on display at the Slow Living Exposition.

Photo by Jim Hill

All in all, attending Strolling of the Heifers is a somewhat surreal but still very pleasant way to spend a summer’s day in Vermont. And that’s no bull.

Photo by Jim Hill

Well, that could be a bull. To be honest, what with the wig & all, it’s kind of hard to tell. 

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Sunday, June 4, 2017

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Looking to make an authentic Irish meal for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, then chef Kevin Dundon says not to cook corned beef & cabbage



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Let’s at least start on a positive note: Celebrated chef, author & TV personality Kevin Dundon – the man that Tourism Ireland has repeatedly chosen as the Face of Irish Food – loves a lot of what happens in the United States on March 17th.

“I mean, look at what they do in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. They toss all of this vegetable-based dye into the Chicago River and then paint it green for a day. That’s terrific,” Kevin said.

But then when it comes to what many Americans eat & drink on St. Paddy’s Day (i.e., a big plate of corned beef and cabbage. Which is then washed down with a mug of green beer) … Well, that’s where Dundon has to draw the line.

Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon displays a traditional Irish loin of bacon with Colcannon potatoes and a Dunbrody Kiss chocolate dessert. Photo by Tom Burton. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Green beer? No real Irishman would be caught dead drinking that stuff,” Kevin insists. “And as for eating corned beef & cabbage … That’s not actually authentic Irish fare either. Bacon and cabbage? Sure. But corned beef & cabbage was something that the Irish only began eating after they’d come to the States to escape the Famine. And even then these Irish-Americans only began serving corned beef & cabbage to their friends & family because they had to make do with the ingredients that were available to them at that time.”

And thus begins the strange tale of how corned beef & cabbage came to be associated with the North American celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Because – according to Dundon – beef just wasn’t all that big a part of the Irish diet back in the 19th century.

To explain: Back in the Old Country, cattle – while they were obviously highly prized for the milk & cheese that they produced – were also beasts of burden. Meaning that they were often used for ploughing the fields or for hauling heavy loads. Which is why – back then — these animals were rarely slaughtered when they were still young & healthy. If anything, land owners liked to put a herd of cattle on display out in one of their pastures because that was then a sign to their neighbors that this farm was prosperous.

“Whereas pork … Well, everybody raised pigs back then. Which is why pork was a staple of the Irish diet rather than beef,” Dundon continued.

So if that’s what people actually ate back in the Old Country, how then did corned beef & cabbage come to be so strongly associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the States.? That largely had to do with where the Irish wound up living after they arrived in the New World.

“When the Irish first arrived in America following the Great Famine, a lot of them wound up living in the inner city right alongside the Germans & the Jews, who were also recent immigrants to the States. And while that farm-fresh pork that the Irish loved wasn’t readily available, there was brisket. Which the Irish could then cure by first covering this piece of meat with corn kernel-sized pieces of rock salt – that’s how it came to be called corned beef. Because of the sizes of the pieces of rock salt that were used in the curing process – and then placing all that in a pot of water with other spices to soak for a few days.”

And as for the cabbage portion of corned beef & cabbage … Well, according to Kevin, in addition to buying their meat from the kosher delis in their neighborhood, the Irish would also frequent the stores that the German community shopped in. Where – thanks to their love of sauerkraut (i.e., pickled cabbage) – there was always a ready supply of cabbage to be had.

“So when you get right down to it, it was the American melting pot that led to corned beef & cabbage being found in the Irish-American cooking pot,” Dundon continued. “Since they couldn’t find or didn’t have easy access to the exact same ingredients that they had back in Ireland, Irish-Americans made do with what they could find in the immediate vicinity. And what they made was admittedly tasty. But it’s not actually authentic Irish fare.”

Mind you, what Kevin serves at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Disney Springs (which – FYI – Orlando Magazine voted as the area’s best restaurant back in 2014) is nothing if not authentic. Dundon and his team at this acclaimed gastropub pride themselves on making traditional Irish fare and then contemporized it.

Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

“Take – for example – what we serve here instead of corned beef & cabbage. Again, because it was pork – rather than beef – that was the true staple of the Irish diet back then, what we offer instead is a loin of bacon that has been glazed with Irish Mist. That then comes with colcannon potatoes. Which is this traditional Irish dish that’s made up of mashed potato that have had some cabbage & bacon mixed through it,” Kevin enthused. “This heavenly ham – that’s what we actually call this traditional Irish dish at Raglan Road, Kevin’s Heavenly Ham – also includes some savory cabbage with a parsley cream sauce as well as a raisin cider jus. It’s simple food. But because of the basic ingredients – and that’s the real secret of Irish cuisine. That our ingredients are so strong – the flavors just pop off the plate.”

Which brings us to the real challenge that Dundon and the Raglan Road team face every day. Making sure that they actually have all of the ingredients necessary to make this traditional-yet-contemporized Irish fare to those folks who frequent this Walt Disney World favorite.

“Take – for example – the fish we serve here. We only used cold water fish. Salmon, mussels and haddock that have been hauled out of the Atlantic, the ocean that America and Ireland share,” Kevin stated. “Not that there’s anything wrong with warm water fish. It’s just that … Well, it doesn’t have the same structure. It’s a softer fish, which doesn’t really fit the parameters of Irish cuisine. And if you’re going to serve authentic food, you have to be this dedicated when it comes to sourcing your ingredients.

Copyright Mitchell Beazley. All rights reserved

And if you’re thinking of perhaps trying to serve an authentic Irish meal this year, rather than once again serving corned beef & cabbage at your Saint Patrick’s Day Feast … Well, back in September of last year, Mitchell Beazley published “The Raglan Road Cookbook: Inside America’s Favorite Irish Pub.” This 296-page hardcover not only includes the recipe for Kevin’s Heavenly Ham but also it tells the tale of how this now-world-renown restaurant wound up being built in Orlando.

On the other hand, if you happen to have to the luck of the Irish and are actually down at The Walt Disney World Resort right now, it’s worth noting that Raglan Road is right in the middle of its Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This four day-long event – which includes Irish bands and professional dancers – stretches through Sunday night. And in addition to all that authentic Irish fare that Dundon and his team are cooking up, you also sample the fine selection of beers & cocktails that this establishment’s four distinct antique bars (each of which are more than 130 years old and were imported directly from Ireland) will be serving. Just – As ucht Dé (That’s “For God’s Sake” in Gaelic) – don’t make the mistake of asking the bartender there for a mug of green beer.

“Why would anyone willingly drink something like that?,” Dundon laughed. “I mean, just imagine what their washroom will look like the morning after.”

This article was originally published by the Huffington Post on Friday, March 17, 2017

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