Patriots’ Day, 2010
Well, last Patriots’ Day, I was in Paris. Where I’m hoping to be two weeks from no - Lord willin’, and the Icelandic volcano don’t rise.
So, as we nervously watch the news of the skies over Europe, and think about Vacation Plan B, there is still Patriots’ Day to celebrate.
So, Happy Patriots’ Day.
There are so many reasons why this is an excellent holiday.
First and foremost, it’s almost a Massachusetts exclusive, celebrated here (and in Maine, which used to be part of Massachusetts). If wikipedia is to be believed, Patriots’ Day is also celebrated in Wisconsin. (Why not, I guess.)
But mostly it’s a quirky little part of New England local deal.
I like that, and the fact that there remain regional distinctions.
How bland if the country became one big old ex-urban sprawl, full of 8 lane highways and Olive Gardens. Plenty enough of that already. We don’t need any more of that type of homogeneity.
Anway, the other day, I saw an article about a casting call for a new “reality” series, Massholes, which is supposed to do for the Sullies and Murphs of Massachusetts what Jersey Shore did for “guidos” and “guidettes.” (As far as I can gather, they’re Italian Americans who specialize in tanning.) Can’t wait.
About the only thing I found interesting about the casting call was that it made a reference to hoagies. Hoagies? Say what? We don’t eat no stinkin’ hoagies here. We down grinders and subs. Hoagies. Hmmmmffff. No self-respecting Masshole – if there are any – would ever call a cold-cut stuffed, long Italian roll topped with onions, pickles, and hots a hoagie. It’s an Italian sub, for crying out loud. Let hoagies live where hoagies live.
Massachusetts, here’s where subs and Patriots’ Day live.
Other than it being a Massachusetts bespoke holiday, Patriots’ Day is excellent because it involves doing absolutely nothing. There is no special food preparation. No gifting. No entertaining – unless you happen to live on the route of the Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon is another reason why Patriots’ Day is so grand.
Sure, people fly in from all over the world – at least when there aren’t active volcanoes spewing aircraft-riddling ash into the atmosphere – but the Marathon is run by a lot of locals, and I’m guessing no citizen of Massachusetts is more than 1 degree of separation away from someone who’s running this year. Most of them won’t be among the elite, and a lot of them will be hobbling across the finish line hours after the winners come in. But they’re folks we know. And I like that.
It’s also a day when the Red Sox play at the daffy hour of 11 a.m., the better to coincide – or not – with something to do with the Marathon. (The course runs near Fenway Park.) It used to be that the game was scheduled so that it was done in time for fans to watch the lead runners pass by, but nowadays the elite runners go by mid-game.
In any case – if you’re lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on the weather) to have tickets, you do spill out into the streets in time to see a whole lot of not-so-elite runners thud by and cheer them on.
With vacation – with any luck, that will be our Plan A Vacation – soon upon me, I will be working today.
But I will be doing a tiny bit of celebrating, and a bit of thinking about that shot heard ‘round the world.
And if you’re coming to Boston as a tourist, why don’t you forget about visiting the Cheers bar, and head out to Lexington and Concord and see where once th’embattled farmers stood and fired that shot.
Told you I like Patriots’ Day: here’s 2008’s post.