Maureen Charms New York
as Grand Marshal
St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 17, 1999
Accounts from fans who were at the parade
and were able to greet Maureen personally
(this page under construction - pictures to follow)
In a phone conversation with Maureen the day after the parade, she said she was very pleased that the parade went so well and that she thoroughly enjoyed the day. Her schedule was hectic but in true O'Hara fashion she charmed her public and was ready to resume a few more appearances on her schedule yet before she returns to Los Angeles. St. Patrick's Day 1999 was indeed a "great day for the Irish" and will undoubtedly go down in parade history as the best parade of all.
June Beck 3-18-99
No big city newspaper accounts for us. Our ace reporter, LibProctor was front stage center in the throngs of parade goers in New York City, fulfilling her assignment to "cover" the main event, Maureen O'Hara as grand marshal of this, the biggest parade in the world. Armed with her trusty video camera Lib demonstrated her athletic prowess by sprinting about from location to location, trying to get the best possible angles and opportunities for those shots. Hearing Lib describe her parade taping challenge is worth the price of a ticket in the reviewing stands. LOL Seems Lib forgot to wear athletic shoes and her need to literally "run" from place to place didn't bode well in the shoes she wore. She said "I still can't feel my feet" so she really went that extra mile to get the shots she wanted.
Lib's warm personality came in handy that day because she not only got to shake Maureen's hand in the parade route but got her to sign her copy of "In the Footsteps of the Quiet Man" during a transition period of Maureen being whisked off in a limo. Lib also struck up a passing friendship with Maureen's limo driver. All in all, it was a full day for our Lib, who still hasn't come down to earth.
Lib reports that Maureen looked glorious and the well wishing and affection from the crowd was absolutely phenomenal! She said people were hollering, "We love you Maureen" and other terms of endearment constantly. Maureen was beaming and waving and shaking hands. Without question this was Maureen's shining hour as she heard the praises and well wishes of the people that matter - her public. I guess I'm really a romantic, but I can't help but feel that Duke Wayne and John Ford were up there smiling down on her. There was much more radiating from that lady than her Irishness or her celebrity status. It had to encompass all that Maureen is and always has been. A lovely, gifted, talented woman who by the grace of God is here to represent every phase of her life. Her legacy to her fans, her family, and her love of God.
June Beck ©3-18-99
(There will be much more to come on this page as material begins arriving from the east coast so hang tight people - this should be great fun)
OTHER CLOSE ENCOUNTERSLots of reports coming in about people who were at the parade who got to greet Maureen personally. Bill Greehy was curbside and in the media/press area. Got word to Maureen that he was there and busy as she was, she called him over for a long overdue greeting to a dear friend and fan of many years. Bill will be sending us a photo and an account of his meeting. Even though the meeting was brief, it meant the world to Bill.
OF THE BEST KIND - GREETING MAUREEN
- Up Close and Personal -
Another major fan of Maureen, Carolyn Schneck, was able to shake Maureen's hand in the dining room of the Archbishop of New York, John O'Connor's, residence. Carolyn is still on Cloud-9. Her greeting to Maureen, which was befitting the setting, "God Bless You." It doesn't get much better than that.
Note: Anyone else visiting the site who was able to greet Maureen at the NYC Parade...
please e-mail me and share you experience on the page.
Dear Ms. O'Hara,
Recently I saw you at the St. Patrick Mass at St. Jeromes church in Holyoke, Massachusetts. I got a few pictues of you but I was so shocked that I actually saw you that I was too nervous to get your autograph. when you walked down the aisle the woman in front of me who had been talking about the whole mass reached out and touched you. You came over to say something to her and as you were passing me you looked at me and my knees almost gave out. My sister who is 14 didn't come and now I tell her that you looked at me and she gets all flustered because she
loves you almost as much as I do. you probably don't remember me but that's okay because I'll always remember that moment. A couple of friends from my school were Colleens so you probably met them. My only regret is that I was too chicken to get your autograph. Well I've talked long enough. I wish you a long and healthy life and all the happiness you deserve.
Your Biggest fan,
(one of the many articles appearing on Maureen and the St. Patrick's Day Parade)
O'Hara a 'Quiet' Woman
On Issue of Gays in Parade
By Rush & Molloy
Screen legend Maureen O'Hara won't take the saint out of St. Patrick's Day.
The grand marshal of this year's Irish parade won't be siding with gays who have been fighting to march in it for the last several years.
Just try to ask her about the thorny issue and she heads you off. "Don't!" the fiery redhead blurts. "I don't wish to be involved in it. So don't ask me about it.
"The issues surrounding the parade have nothing to do with me," she said last Friday after paying a visit to Mayor Giuliani or "O'Giuliani" as she calls him.
"The only issue to me is that the parade is honor of the patron saint of New York and the island where I was born" she adds.
Fortunately, the 78-year-old actress will talk about her more than 60 movies, and the toll they sometimes took on her. Sharing a drink at Langan's, she holds up the hand that Jackie Gleason broke while they were working on "a real stinkeroo" of a movie called How Do I Love Thee?.
"He sat on my hand," she says. "I was in a cast up to here."
Then there was the famous scene in John Ford's The Quiet Man where she broke her wrist in a donnybrook with John Wayne.
"He didn't hurt me," she admits. "I hurt myself. I was so mad at Duke that I absolutely intended to break his jaw. Duke saw it coming and he put his hand up to stop the blow. That snapped the bone in my wrist."
The moral: "Don't ever harbor vengeance -- it'll come back to you."
Not that she didn't have her reasons for being angry at Wayne and Ford.
"They were devils. The scene where I was dragged on my stomach down a hill? They kicked all the sheep manure they could find in my path. I was dragged through the most dreadful manure on my stomach. John Ford gave instructions that I was to be given nothing to clean it off. They thought it was very funny."
For all that, she says, "I would never give in or cry help." And in spite of the torture, she insists, "we all loved each other."
Her grit impressed Wayne enough to call her "the greatest guy I ever met."
Lest you wonder, "There was never romance between Duke and myself. Get that straight." Her late husband, decorated aviator Charlie Blair, was the "love of my life."
Wayne, America's consummate tough guy did "share a lot of secrets with me," a few of which she might include in a memoir she has been tending.
She may be ready to reveal the "secret love" she had during the 16 years between her first and second marriages.
O'Hara is ready to set the record straight on some things. Like: "I never punched Errol Flynn in the jaw in Rome, or anywhere else." But she won't reveal all. "What happens when I die and try to enter the pearly gates and God says, 'Why did you tell that story?"