Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Yes, 'tis May 1st.
Have you ever wondered why they say "May Day" when in distress?  If you have come here to learn the "why,"  boy have you pegged me wrong.  I don't know.  I just know that in the movies, when a boat or a plane is going down, they start yelling, "May Day!"   I suppose it is easier than yelling, "Help, a giant white shark just bit the nose off my boat"  -- or  --  "Help, one of our propellers has quit turning but Preacher Bob [ John Wayne really ]  is climbing out on the wing to see if he can make it turn - going down."
When I was in the 4th grade, my father's logging truck was told to head north by Standard Oil of Indiana (soon to become Amoco and eventually BP).  We were those oil field people who moved in and out of communities prospecting for oil.  This time we were to be stationed in Crete, Nebraska, which is about 30 miles or so from Lincoln.  I have a few memories from Crete, our new home base; mostly, I have very few memories of the 4th grade.
But in the context of this bluggy, May Day, I have one.  At that time in Crete, they had a spring festival.  We kids were dressed up ( like one might do to a monkey or dog ) in costumes.  My brain says that we wore things associated with Holland.  That doesn't make a lot of sense now since I don't associate May Day festivals with the Dutch.  Somewhere, somewhere, in all my stuff, I can imagine seeing a photo of me in a Dutch outfit standing next to a girl in a Dutch dress with wooden shoes.  
Really new to me at that time was the May Pole.   This is a pole attached to the ground with various colored streamers hanging down from the apex.   Each of us in the class would take one of the streamers, half facing the left and the other half facing the right.  We marched  (walked, more likely) towards each other weaving in and out as you met another person.  This made the streamers weave together around the pole....and, as we traveled more and more, our streamers became shorter and shorter pulling us in towards the pole.
I betcha there was music playing and we danced in time.  The pole must have been quite beautiful since they continued to do this ritual year after year.  Or, they just enjoyed sitting back and watching kids go in circles bumping into each other more and more until they were plastered up against a pole.  If you live in Nebraska, May seemed to be the start of spring with the disappearance of snow.  Lack of snow would be a reason to celebrate.

As an added something which has absolutely nothing to do with May, my daughter Laura, the preacher(wo)man married Tom Roberts who was raised in Holland, Michigan, located towards the western edge of Michigan.   Tom played trombone in his high school band.  The Holland Band was chosen to go to the Rose Bowl Parade.  As you may know, you have to be somewhat special to march in the Rose Bowl Parade.  It must have been a rompin' marching band.   
If I remember correctly (and Tom or Laura can revise and extend these remarks by clicking on the comment word below) part of the band's uniform was wooden shoes.  Everyone marched in wood Dutch shoes.  Clomp, Clomp, Clomp.  You can just imagine the noise they would have made on a concrete street - 100 plus teenagers clomping about.
I have never worn a pair of wooden shoes.  Does that surprise you?  Well, if it does, you have a lot of living yet to do.   It would seem they wouldn't be comfy.  This is where I must be wrong.  The Rose Bowl Parade is like 5 miles long or so.  If they set that many kids out walking in wood shoes for 5 miles and, well, you can imagine.  If blisters formed on toes, that would be a long long day.  So, the shoes must be okay to wear.   I bet that band made quite a sight  ( and sound ) as they traversed the parade route.   Go Tom!  Go Holland Band!
I never asked Tom what the Holland school mascot was.   Things like the Mustangs,  Bears, Wolves, Tigers - do not seem to fit the Holland image.   How about:  The Holland Dike Pluggers.  That would be good.  I'll ask Tom when I THINKS about it.   The Holland Clompers.
Give me one big Clomp.
Give me two big Clomps.
   "GO!  CLOMPERS!!!"
It does have a certain ring to it.
Sorry Tom.
next blugging entry, should I choose the challenge, my day trip on Tuesday throughout southern Dallas county looking for Yarn Stores.   When we go on day trips, we rock n' roll.

1 comment:

  1. Tom's alma mater in Holland Michigan is the fighting windmills. Tough stuff, huh.