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    Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!

    I totally spaced out about St. Patrick Day until I started to write to you here. If you recall, I was totally consumed (as usual) with the weather and the purchase of my new bathing suit. Anyway, for all of my years working as a bartender, this particular holiday was kind of fun to work. It wasn’t like it was a family holiday or anything so I didn’t mind working it. I’ll tell you what I did get really tired of.

    Green beer. Or people dying their hair green for the day. It got a bit old after a long day. I must tell you this though. People in Los Angeles don’t really celebrate as hardy as people back east. It probably has something to do with the deference in the types of people out there compared to people in the east. Anyway, as with most holidays in a bar setting, the atmosphere is always festive. I was always very careful to make certain people sitting at my bar didn’t get too inebriated because they would then be getting into a car to drive. Well at least in California. When I tended bar in New York, most people would either be walking or taking a taxi. But I was still very conservative when it came to the amount someone would drink. I guess I felt a bit of a responsibility to bar patrons, and I also tried to treat my job with respect. I never felt good about letting someone get drunk beyond good judgment. Sure, come to my bar, tip well and don’t become an out-of-control idiot at my bar.

    When I would cut somebody off, especially if they were bigger than me, I would make certain that there was a large male employee around for backup. That way I pretty much had my bases covered in case whatever person I cut off got nasty with me. I mean I can pretty much take care of myself, but I am not unrealistic when it comes to stopping a person who wants to continue to drink.

    I’ve encountered some pretty nasty people when they’ve been told they can’t drink anymore alcohol. That having been said, by and large, most people I have ever dealt with when I was behind the bar were just fine. Especially at one of the last bars I tended, which was called "The West Beach Café." I always thought this was somehow poetic in that, as we all know, the beach is my most favorite place to be.

    It was located in Venice Beach, California, and I lived just down the road on Venice Boulevard. I could walk to work or walk to the beach. It was a very trendy bar-restaurant frequented by a lot of stars. My shifts were all weekend days, and because of the killer brunch they had (and possibly because of the killer drinks I made) it was absolutely packed. During the course of the weekend I would easily make $300 or more. And I wasn’t working nights, which was wonderful. I was also free all week for auditions. So, overall, it seemed like the perfect job.

    This particular bar didn’t stoop so low as to have green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. We instead had green champagne! It was just the kind of clientele we had. I hope you all have a great St. Paddy’s day. And if you can, try some green champagne!

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"