through Sunday evening, inclusive. What stories can I tell?
I could tell the story of the special Thanksgiving Eve two-stepping dance
at the VFW Hall. Attendance was very good, which was no surprise since for a few
weeks there had been notable anticipation for the dance, as people announced to
each other that they planned to attend. I looked out over the crowd and mentioned
to the man standing next to me that surely I wasn't the only one there who had to
make the cheesecake on Tuesday. His response was that he had made a few pies before
coming that night. These are the guys who bring dessert.
I could tell the story of shape-note singing at Jim's house on Thanksgiving morning.
This year more people than ever showed up, filling the house to the walls. We
sang until around noon, then everybody went off to their holiday plans. It's a
I could tell the story of Thanksgiving itself, a nice relaxing dinner party of an
evening with a few friends, a couple of teenage girls, and a year-old child. Smoked
salmon always goes over biggest in a smoked-fish assortment. Beaujolais-Villages and
Pinot Noir work with the meal, just as the article in the New York Times advised.
I could tell the story of playing with the Minnesota Freedom Band for the first
three nights of the Holidazzle Parade, which I've been doing for 12 years now.
Thanksgiving weekend is usually the big boffo weekend, attendancewise, and this year
was no exception. The wind whipped up hard for Sunday's parade, but that's fine
because this is one of the parades that gives up bragging rights when we talk about
marching bands with musicians from other cities. The brass players share their
I could tell the stories of rushing off each night after shedding my light-bedecked
Holidazzle band costume, full of marching energy and ravenous as I always am after
a parade. On Friday I went off to the monthly Bear Bar night, catching the final
half-hour; the bar was absolutely packed. On Saturday my friend Brian from Seattle,
who had arrived in town (for work) just as the parade began, met me at parade's
end and we walked up the Nicollet Mall and all around the Warehouse District (I'm
serious when I say I am full of post-parade energy when I play the bass drum) and then
we landed up for dinner at The Local, a faux-Irish-pub that was exactly what we were
looking for; beer and coziness and a hearty meal. By the time we left, there were
great crowds of young adults thronging the place. Sunday I went off to the regular
two-stepping night, joined by a woman from the percussion section.
These are the stories I could tell, and here's a theme: There are many people (I suspect
more than are willing to say so) who are looking for connection, who are looking to
be a part of one or many communities. The long Thanksgiving weekend provided many
opportunities for this, here in Minnesota. People wanted to be with others, to laugh
and drink and dance and sing. This requires a collective willingness to admit to this
desire, and to go with it. When this happens, there is much rejoicing.