By A Different Name

Dearest Rachel –

Well, color me shocked. I had been informed months ago by the highest authority (which is to say, the local newspaper) that our village wouldn’t be holding Frontier Days over the July 4th holiday. So, when I saw the installation at Melas Park the other day, I naturally assumed that the next town over was going to absolutely clean up from the rest of us wanting to get out and do something, and not having something in our own village to go to.

To be sure, the announcement that Frontier Days was not going to be a thing was, as I say, made months ago, out of that then-ubiquitous term, “an abundance of caution.”

Permit me, if you will, a few words about that loathsome phrase, though. Life involves risk. If the powers that be were so concerned about us and our safety, cars would not be allowed to drive any faster than 5 miles an hour. The stock market would be outlawed, as that involves risk of loss. And the snow tubing hill would’ve been shut down forever because of what happened to you.

But stuff happens. All kinds of unfortunate things, like fraud, freak accidents and Fauci. None of which are sufficiently compelling reasons to shut down our lives forever. And I’ll give the village credit, they seem to recognize that.

Even the local paper, which normally I would trust more than national news (although that’s damning with faint praise, as I would no more trust the New York Times, just as an example, than I could pick up their office building and throw it) did a quick 180°, and is apparently sponsoring whatever it is that’s going on.

Pace John Maynard Keynes, “When I’m wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Amusingly, however, they aren’t entirely having to change their story: the fact remains that Frontier Days is not on. The workaround is simply not calling whatever this is “Frontier Days.”

It seems they’ve decided to call it a “Carnival Jamboree” instead. Well, that’s one way to be technically correct.

Also, in fairness, it is a rather condensed affair. For example, there are no vendor stalls on the opposite side of Recreation Park:

Normally this field would be filled with small tents, with people selling all manner of homemade goods. Would I be too much of a child of the Internet were I to refer to it as a “live action Etsy?”

And while I never cared much about it during Frontier Days past, I don’t think that they have any musical or otherwise performing guests scheduled. At least, I didn’t see anything like a bandshell set up on the baseball field for such a series of events or performances. Not that I was looking closely over there, as that sort of thing never interested me back in the day. But I would drive on the fact that this is relatively some dude in comparison to previous such events.

All of which is perfectly understandable, considering that takes time and effort to arrange, whereas these traveling carnivals have been lying fallow for over a year, just waiting to be called upon for such a holiday as this. They set up in jig time, and can be called upon in similarly short order, I expect.

And while I don’t really have any set intention of riding the rides, or eating the food, it is a welcome sight nonetheless. I’m sorry that you don’t get to see it, but things are getting back to normal, it seems.

And while Herroner the mayor of the Big City nearby may put her heavy foot down (see what I did there?), we here in the pinkish-purple suburbs are free to do as we please, and by golly, we’re gonna do that, and we’re gonna enjoy ourselves while we do.

I had already intended – since, obviously, I walked across town today to report to the ‘office’ – leaving a little bit early in order to get back home at a reasonable hour. I think I’m going to try to prevail upon my boss to leave that much earlier, in order to check things out when things are actually going on.

Which should be absolutely no problem, since, as I’ve told you many times before, my current boss is an absolute pushover.

I may or may not be able to send you a report about all that goes on here. It kind of depends on how much fun I have. The irony is, the more I am to enjoy this little “carnival jamboree,” the less likely I am to tell you about it. If I’m too busy having fun, after all, when am I going to bother to pause and write?

P. S. It would seem the joke’s on me this afternoon. After making a point of heading out early in order to hang around Recreation Park (where everything was set up), it turns out that everything is still as silent as when I was heading to the ‘office.’ Encountered a handful of roustabouts while I was entering the fairgrounds, and they explained that nothing opens until five today, although for the rest of the weekend things start up at around noon. Okay, lesson learned. And, as predicted, I’m only writing you to tell you this because things went wrong. Oh, well.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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