Today is Groundhog Day. Yesterday marked 17 years since I moved from the Eastern wasteland to the hallowed hills of Ohio. I’ve always liked Groundhog Day, and as a child I could not understand why we did not get it off from school (though given its location in the calendar we occasionally did for other reasons, but not often because in my district school was canceled only when it was certain that no buses could complete their routes).
This is getting uglier and uglier. The evidence continues to mount that in the early days of the current pandemic Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Francis Collins, at the time the director of the National Institutes of Health, took extraordinary action to suppress the idea that SARS-CoV-2 originated in a Chinese laboratory.
Do you know your blood type? Some of us do. I’d hazard that most of us don’t. It’s not something that comes up, and when it is a matter of medical importance it can be determined quickly enough. But there are people who consider it almost as important as one’s age or educational achievements.
Get ready to read something unpopular. New York late last year and now the federal government are giving preferential treatment to non-white, non-Asian people for scarce COVID-19 treatments. On the face of it, it’s an outrage.
It starts when we’re young, I think, and continues through our lives. That great new baseball glove, we’re encouraged to believe (and are eager to go along with it), will make us far better players. That new car will make us so much more attractive to the opposite sex. That new word processor will bring our writing into a whole new realm of coherence and literacy.
If I’d known that TCL televisions were disposable, I would have gotten something else two years ago when my 13-year-old flat screen died, but that’s a story for another day.
So. We’re three days from Christmas. These last couple of years the holiday, like everything else, has gotten a bit deflated as two presidents and a lot of medical bureaucrats, liking the feel of unexpected power, have succumbed to the irresistible compulsion to do something, whether it was advisable or not. The effects were troubling to some people more than they were to me, because for a number of years now I’ve enjoyed low-key Christmas celebrations.
George McEvoy always had the best stories. He was a reporter at the old Fort Lauderdale News the same time I was. Though while most us thought of ourselves as young reporters on our way up, George already had enjoyed (mostly) a rich and colorful career. He’d been a police reporter at the New York Daily Mirror alongside the likes of Walter Winchell and his circle had included Damon Runyon. When The Mirror closed down, George moved to Phoenix, where he was a reporter, of course, and where he met his wife, Ruthie. After a while, Fort Lauderdale became his home.
Nice notes having arrived about my reminiscence last week, I thought I’d continue with some family traditions that were once common but that seem now to have all but disappeared, and some community ones which in many places have suffered the same fate.
Do people still have warm, memorable Christmas traditions? I wonder. We used to. Here’s part of my family’s, when my family lived on our little farm in Missouri at a time that doesn’t seem as long ago as it was.