The book concerns growing up in San Francisco's Mission District in an Irish American immigrant family that loves the Catholic Church, the Democratic Party, language and Jameson's whiskey. The protagonist, Corrigan, comes of age during a time of great cultural changes in the US. His grandfather and father appreciate Bing Crosby but are not ready for Elvis. Corrigan's life is reflected through factual and fictional events, from early childhood in a rich Irish culture to the student riots at San Francisco State during the Vietnam War era. He continues a search for identity through drink, romantic love, theatre and the written word. Many phases of development are examined, from Catholic education in the 50s to the icons that changed music and film: Presley, Dean and Brando. The book ends with its beginning, an examination of those forgotten Irish immigrants of another time.