Monday, July 01, 2013


i was deeply impressed by the patriotic band on sunday night; they're always patriotic, but on sunday night they played all the old sousa marches, songs for each branch of the military, etc., an entire patriotic performance. they were quick to point out that they were busy on the fourth itself, doing something private, but on the tuesday before the fourth they were doing something in conjunction with the methodists and we should all come down to the first methodist church and hear them again. it was a nice night, although clouds were coming gently over the park; it's been raining a bit lately, and it's been a bit cooler; lots of people came from all over, and brought their chairs and sat out for the whole hour.

as usual i took this one bench where i could watch my child play on the playground, while at the same time hearing the band well, turn around to see them occasionally. my back was to the band itself but i had one of the few public benches. early on an ancient couple came by and shared the bench with me. the old man had trouble walking; i would have given them the whole bench if they'd wanted it. he was wearing a hat that signified his service in the military; lots of people wore either those, or red white and blue. there were lots of older people too.

a friend came by and talked for a long time. he'd been in the marines for ten years, maybe, but had also grown up in the area and knew the whole history of the use of the park - how long the band had been playing there, the other kinds of things they used to do in the park, the various uses of the park. the park, the school, and the little grocery store and cafe are all pretty close to each other, but this area is about seven blocks from our house, so we're not down there every day. i'm glad to have this guy basically fill me in on the history. i'm feeling a little more like i belong here.

of course, our house is not looking so good, since the hailstorm, it's kind of like a crack house without the crack, i like to say, and it's very dark in the days and just about any time, since most of the windows are boarded up, except for one in front and a couple on the sides. the realignment of where light actually comes in has changed the realignment of where the cats take their naps, since they are very sensitive to the moving light across the living room floor, for example, or anywhere else. they don't mind taking a nap right up on the dining room table, if that's the best moving light, and if we'll let them. the dog goes bonkers.

things i like about this country: the music, no question about it. from patriotic marches, to cajun, to bluegrass, to western swing, i have no shortage of good music to listen to, and even a town like this loves its music although like everywhere else musicians have trouble getting paid real money. freedom of speech, too, i love it, and though i'm well aware that there's no such thing as privacy, i've always cherished the fact that we can say a lot of things that people elsewhere just plain can't say. i'm nonpolitical, overall, chances are slim that i'll get out there on the corner and actually conspire against the government. if i were in syria, maybe, or if i were somewhere else, yes. but here, in spite of all the huge things the government does, and many of them are wrong things, like dropping drones, or sending arms to idiots, or trying to control the flow of oil from distant kingdoms, i still consider it my government, and though it may have been a mistake, i stuck with it even through two terms of bush, who essentially ruined it. we're an amazingly resilient people, and in the end the fact that we've shared our dream with people of different races has set us apart from other countries that consider themselves primarily mono-racial.

of course i have my complaints as well, but there's some blackberry-strawberry pie waiting for me, and i think i'll try it.


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