Thursday, March 17, 2016

Montco Lawyer Spreads Irish Cheer with Bagpipes

Norristown lawyer James W. Flood continued his St. Patrick’s Day tradition playing bagpipes at the county courthouse, spreading a little Irish cheer along the way, eliciting smiles from those who were fortunate enough to run into him.
James W. Flood/ Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
Flood, whose law office is located at One East Airy Street, stopped by the courthouse after a day of entertaining students and teachers at various schools in the county while performing with the band “Irish Thunder.”
“We had about 17 pipe and drummers that went to five or six different schools in the Montgomery County area, just walked through the hallways and some of them had cafeterias set up with kids. The kids loved it, they love that kind of stuff,” Flood told me.
Flood then came to the courthouse where during court breaks he performed some tunes for Judge Risa Vetri Ferman and then Judge Steven T. O’Neill.
“Very good, thank you for the serenade,” O’Neill said after one of Flood’s impromptu performances, which also was enjoyed by Senior Judge Joseph Smyth.
Judge Steven T. O'Neill

In past years, it was O’Neill who had a tradition of donning a St. Patrick costume, complete with white beard and shepherd’s staff, espousing Irish cheer as he strolled along the courthouse hallways, sometimes accompanied by a bagpiper. It’s been awhile since O’Neill’s version of St. Patrick has graced these hallways.

Seems like Flood has taken over the tradition, now.
“We’re just proud of our Irish heritage and we want to share. There’s a lot of negative stereotypes about St. Patrick’s Day, people going out and drinking too much and that sort of thing, so we want to spread the positive parts about our culture,” Flood said candidly.
Montco Judge Risa Vetri Ferman with James Flood/Photo Courtesy Risa Ferman
Flood marched with Irish Thunder in two holiday parades last Saturday, including Conshohocken’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This weekend he plans to march in Allentown’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Montco Judge Risa Vetri Ferman with Flood/Photo Courtesy Risa Ferman
Flood has been playing bagpipes for two years now and became a full-fledged member of Irish Thunder this year.
“The good news, there’s only nine notes,” Flood laughed when he discussed learning how to play bagpipes. “It’s fun. I enjoy it and the people seem to enjoy it.”

Thanks Jim, for celebrating all things Irish, for showing the most Irish spirit at the courthouse and for spreading the joy of the bagpipes.
James Flood/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

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