Monday, September 6, 2010

Just LIke Buddy Holly

Its me and the crickets tonight.

The evening of Labor Day brings with it a quiet to Cedar Point. While the crowds were thick all weekend, enjoying a couple of brilliant days of soft breezes (not so soft at first but easing up) and warm, clear water in the Harbor, tonight the only gathering is the roll of the ocean, the blinking of the stars, and the chirp of the crickets.

Yesterday, music covered the Point with a band playing a house party and traffic zipping around. There was the annual parade that I usually skirt, but a song got me out and about when I heard the Blues Brothers Theme dancing up the stairs and knew that my own Marshfield High School Marching Band was rolling down the road. I had heard them practicing on the field outside my class room window on Friday and sure enough Kirsten and Kathryn led them down the street. From that jaunt I got into a few conversations with retired veterans and with the parents of students and with passers by.



Last night I had occasion to dial up the police for the first time all summer. I was reading when I heard a loud group mosey up the sidewalk. One sure fire Ivy Leaguer offered the idea to his friends that they climb the flag pole rope on the Tower and slide down. I took a walk outside and heard that, "Hey theres a dude over in the yard" from a potential valedictorian. When they began to brag of how much they had been drinking and I began to count heads I decided to call the station. Three cruisers moved them right along ten minutes later.

On Saturday the wind was a great deal steadier in the aftermath of Earl. I could not fly the flag on the Tower and it was hard to sit in the yard. I weeded and weed wacked and headed in to finish off a book. The highlight of the day was running off three young people in their late teens or early twenties who had decided, despite the wind, to take up roost in the Adirondack chairs that look out over the Harbor. Haley reported that there were people in the yard and I stepped out to find them sitting comfortably. I barked; they jumped. They jumped so fast one young lady left her purse in the yard and had to retreat from half way down the driveway to retrieve it. HL Mencken once said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American People." I don't normally hold with it; it goes against my grain as a teacher. As an observer of the human condition though, there are times it is an appealing description.

On a similar note, this morning at 6:00 am I was awakened by a blunt, nasty, shrill voice cursing as it made its way up the walkway to the Tower. It was a teenage girl who was limited in her vocabulary. I know this because she used seven words as she declaimed; one of which is capable of taking on a wide variety of parts of speech. She used it in nearly every way. The last statement was a declaration that her life was of a poor quality. It took a great deal of restraint from me to not go to the window and offer from above that in my short experience of her I could not help but agree.

We will see if the quiet lasts very long this year or if it is washed away by the pull of gnawing ocean as it was last fall. Waves have their own gravity and if storms start knocking the rocks around again, you can be sure crowds will gather to feast. In the meantime leave me the crickets and the stars and the back and forth of an easy sea. Even if only for a little while, they are an antidote to vulgarity and ignorance. Truth told, the beauty of this place, night or day, makes it hard to stay mad all that long.

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