Saturday, February 17, 2018

a convergence of many holidays, and a big rain/snow experience on top of it, has put me at home in my chair. there was valentine's day on wednesday; today is the big chinese new year, which means i don't teach my chinese class. in these two holidays, things are bathed in red and pink; in the elementary school i taught at on wednesday, every single girl was wearing pink or a heart on their shirt. for the chinese, it is the holiday of the year, as far as i know.

then there's president's day, on monday. back in illinois i would call president's day a stray dog holiday. that was because the city and state refused to honor it, since they were stuck on lincoln's birthday, so it did not affect garbage collection, but the feds and the schools honored it, because they had to, so everyone assumed it was a holiday, and put their garbage out a day late. and this caused garbage to be out on the curb six extra days, thus giving the stray dogs a little extra treat.

my old stereotypes and assumptions were that there were lots of sales on presidents' day. stores got tired of having extra clothes sitting around and they would want to clear them out before the summer stocks arrived. but that was back in the days of stores, and back in the days of newspaper flyers which would hold this kind of advertisement. these days, we don't have newspapers, or at least, we don't read them. i would always read the newspapers and skip the flyers anyway, but i remember, i'd have to at least handle them, to throw them away, and even now, they're made of glossy stuff that doesn't burn even when i've burned the whole rest of the newspaper. so, they are quite visible, but, the guy who's making the fire is not the same person who is going down to the stores to shop for clothes. there is a kind of disconnect there.

my research on the life of hudson leverett continues. here's a guy that, born to the guy who was to become governor of the colony, refused to become part of the community by becoming a freeman, and racked up a number of debts, so that at his death his friend benjamin alford had to pay them. they buried him in king chapel, though, with his first wife. this is kind of a mystery to me. his first son, john, was to go on to a life of fame as president of harvard. but then, upon the death of his first wife, he married immediately, and disappeared; we leveretts are hoping that our ancestor was born of this second marriage, and that it was simply unrecorded or hard to find. we have spent a long time searching, too, and come up with nothing.

so there are several signs that he was somewhat indigent, one that they refused to distribute his "estate," since he didn't have any, and another, that they referred to his children as their mother's children, not as his, as if he had no part in their bringing up. but still, if he'd had another son, they would have noticed, i would think. in fact it seems if he'd had any more children, legitimate, of his second marriage, they would have noticed. his father was the governor.

perhaps i should investigate that angle - that, while one's father is governor, one has to go to great lengths to avoid notice, and live one's life.

that's my holiday. i can't help obsessing.


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