Retro RFH NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Step Dancing

RFH Marching Band and Twirlers in NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade circa 1984
Photo/Kitty Beeman

A reprise from March 16 of last year, just because … it’s a classic scene that must be revisited …

In the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s aftermath, we’re looking back at the luck of the Irish and not-so-Irish at RFH and another parade — the big one. We are remembering a time when the RFH Marching Band, Twirlers and Drill Team not only marched in area St. Patrick’s Day parades, but made it to the big one in New York City. Call it an Irish step dance of sorts — the marching and entertaining sorts.

That’s right, a bunch of marching RFH teens were let loose to march in rare form on the city streets. That’s how they did it back in the 70s and 80s, as we recall.

But don’t ask us, ask those who were there, as we did.

While this Retro Pic of the Day shines a parade-passing-by spotlight on the band and twirlers in the big city, the RFH Drill Team, that very unique high school marching crew that twirled and kicked guns in an impressive regimented march, was there as well. We can’t seem to find a snapshot of that, but there’s one out there. So, this is the look back we have of one of those prestigious parade moments for RFH back in the day.

The photo comes from RFHer Kitty Beeman and the year, she said, was likely 1984. The twirlers were twirling and that RFH band played on and kept step as the twirlers and drill team teens entertained. And that they did, when they weren’t doing it all in inclement weather.

And there were bad weather marching days. But they loved every minute of it and even got showcased on the 11 p.m. major network news. Those were the days when parents watched the news nightly and kids only stayed up for that last newscast if they had current events to report on or something special was being featured — like them marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Great showing.

One year, though, the chill was in the air, the wind was blowing and guns were flying. “I remember the cold year,” said Evie Connor Kelly, former RFH Drill Team member in the 70s. “Each time we passed a cross street, the wind would blow the guns into our heads if they weren’t secure.”

Connor Kelly was in the city parade about three times, ’76, ’77 and ’78. She can’t remember which was that cold year, but RFH Drill Team compadre Mary Croft came home with a souvenir that year — an earache.

“I came home with a terrible earache from all the cold wind that day, but we had a blast!” Croft said. She stayed up to click a photo of the moment on that 11 p.m. newscast, but can’t find the infamous pic.

Hey, they and a lot of other RFH marchers have those city parade memories and the luck of the Irish to have made them. Tell us your parade story. Best misadventure?