Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July!


It's the Fourth of July, the one day set aside for Americans to celebrate this wonderful, flawed, mad, and beautiful country. We mark the occasion with hot dogs, hamburgers, beer, and potato chips. Also parades. The parade here in Roxborough is something like 170 years old and is organized by the Sunday schools of the local churches. It is so home-town small and kitschy as to make the heart sing.

One year, I marched with Roxborough Baptist Church because they could use the extra body. For the occasion, I wore a red jacket, white slacks, and blue shirt, with an American flag tie and one of those cloth red-white-and-blue top hats.  Pastor Marcia looked at me and said, aren't you hot?" Because it was, of course in the high eighties as it always is here on the Fourth.

Drawing myself up, I quoted Billy Crystal quoting Fernando Lamas, saying, "I believe it is better to to look good than to feel good."

"Boy," Pastor Marcia said, "are you in the wrong century!"

And from the Image Book . . .

Above is a postcard of a female mummy blowing a kiss. Also the entry: 11/29/19 (by which I surely meant 18) The last proof has been done &, please God, the quote from Sylvia Plath's notebooks I decided was too expensive, has been removed.

That was, I think, the second time I tried to remove the quote, replacing it with something in the public domain. Permission to quote Plath is quite pricey and the snipped I wanted, while apt, wasn't irreplaceable.

This is a part of being a writer that they don't teach you at Clarion.


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