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Memorial Day

CEM46521925_110063655007I visited my father’s grave last night. It’s a beautiful spot as these places go. Well maintained. Green. Trees providing comforting breezes and pleasant shade. It was early in the evening so the heat was dying down. The sun was dropping slowly behind the stones. It had the area mostly to myself. Kept company by the birds and the fresh flowers and the American flags on the graves of veterans. It’s a day/weekend to honor their sacrifice. For many it’s a facebook meme spouting a cliche. Facebook posts and Tweets have so sozzled our brains that after a while we actual think we’re being patriotic and clever. In the age of the soundbite it seems the best many, including Presidential candidates, can do…as if anything more than 140 characters would require a Doctorate degree and a year abroad.

Our area has annual parades every year. The one on St Patrick’s Day turns epic…a hilarious cheap-beer-fueled amateur orgy of short college-aged white guys punching each other in the face to honor the guy who supposedly chased snakes out of Ireland. Or something like that. It attracts crowds well into the 5 digits. The same for the St Ubaldo festival in Jessup this weekend, back and better than ever in the 2000s after being shut down for a few years due to a local beating a guy to death on a Jessup sidewalk because….well…..I’m sure he had a good reason. So goes the legend. Anyway, the cops have since cracked down and now you only risk being beaten to death inside the enclosed beer tent…..which this year featured a “no weapons allowed” sign, right next to a sign advertising “$2 Genessee Cream Ale 16oz cans”…..a drink so vile I assumed it was either made illegal or is what rednecks now use to shock their swimming pools. Think of Wal-Mart on check day….add beer, greasy food, outhouses, and $5 for a chance to win your girl a stuffed animal while being laughed at by a barely-legal carny who can’t speak English. Ubaldo is not exactly the valley’s finest hour, but it raises a pile of money for a local hose company, so at least some good comes out of it. Oh….and it’s religious-based too. Catholics know how to fucking party.

Where am I going with this? Well….our area also has one or two Veteran themed parades every year…where active and retired service men and women march down streets lined with their own family members and pretty much nobody else. Which is another way of saying that we don’t come close to honoring either our live or dead veterans, on Memorial or any other day. And that’s a damn shame…..and that’s what I was thinking about when I was visiting my father last night….all by myself with the birds and the flags while the rest of the valley was getting drunk on Genny Creme Ale and trying not to get beaten up by roaming toughs wearing wife-beaters stained with potato-pancake grease.

We live in interesting times.

We live in interesting places.

We’ve got a long way to go.

Sometimes we have no idea where we’re going.

In other words, we’re lost.

In a bit..

–tf

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. jimbob
    May 31, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Trump 2016, Make ‘Merica Great Agin

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