Holiday Road

Published: December 23, 2011
Hey kids . . . Wally World!
Hey kids . . . Wally World!

Hey kids . . . Wally World!

As Christmas does a continually worsening, comically poor job of sneaking up on the present recipients of the world, I’m left with nothing to do but dive into my own head in an effort to maintain decorum as the yuletide behemoth gracelessly knocks the lamp over while trying desperately sneak around and deposit the season’s swag, clinging to the falsest of all hopes that anyone would actually be surprised by any bauble after its six-week-long war cry . . . me trying to give it the dignity a part of me says it deserves as the Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jekyll of generosity.

Holidays are days for celebrating something, but usually the celebrations come with a need to celebrate. Only in New Orleans do we celebrate our ability to celebrate. (What do you mean there’s no poboy festival!?!?! Voila! I’m looking forward to the Hubig’s festival, myself.) This need is often tied to something joyous, a birth, a wedding.

Sadly, these are mere veils for the sadness initiating the photophobic summons of the need to celebrate. A birth? Well, there were times when birth rates weren’t so great . . . and survival rates . . . And birthday anniversaries? Those are more import for kids than adults, excepting the coming-of-age ones, until you are old, the the `big ones’ call for the largest celebrations. What is talked about at such things are the past and future, and what they are talking about when they talk about the past and future is death, plain and simple.

Weddings? Well, those were goodbye parties, and wedding gifts were payments to the groom’s family to take the apparently burdensome daughter off . . . the dowry. Don’t even get dig into the other traditions if you want weddings to remain charming . . .

Christmas is clearly defined in the Christian faiths and is one of two counterweights to Good Friday. The evergreen tree tradition, along with der spielzeugmacher with a sleigh, reindeer, and all that winter gear . . . well, he wasn’t exactly the wacky sidekick in the Gospel of Luke. All of those Germanic guises for the happy toy-maker / UPS man are linked to solstice traditions. An evergreen during the snowy winter? Hello?! Gifts, bounty just after the harvest has completed and snow starts to blanket the one-and-future giving fields? Hello?!?! McFly?!?!

You can follow the fascinating history of these celebrations another time, and I hope you do, but today is the day to talk about the holiday road the New Orleans Hornets . . . and us . . . are on.

Our trials and tribulations are well-known to all even if our successes are not. We will not belabor either point here, leaving that instead to those who enjoy our misfortunes to the point of delusion.

You’re welcome, all of you.

Starting on Christmas, the NBA’s irregular season will take us to summer . . . from midwinter (about) to midsummer (about), straight through beltane (on the nose). While other teams celebrate their `points’ and ‘stats’ and ‘posterizing’, Hornets fans will be celebrating something larger: a real victory against a real threat to rob this team of a home (again) and rob this city of its team-and-more.

The journey to this point has not been what anyone would ever draw up as the `blueprint’ of how to bring and NBA team and a city together, but, actual obstacles hopefully sliding well in the past, Hornets fans and New Orleanians can take a step back for a season and just enjoy the events unfolding knowing that we have let the die be cast (anerriphtho kybos — Julius Caesar (attributed, Greek)).

Look around at all the cities that don’t have teams, or, perhaps worse, have teams that may be slipping, or have slipped, through their fingers. We were there a year ago, but our trial will soon be over. All we have to do is sit back and enjoy the team we have, because it’s our team.

It’s the gift we gave ourselves, so it means so much more, and just a little less.

It’s the tree that’s painful to mow around, was just strong enough to weather the storm, will leave too big a hole to sanely choose to rip it from the ground, and is the perfect size for climbing.

It’s the used Mercury Tracer we worked after school and during the summer to pay for, never really conveyed how cool we were, but allowed for jaunts to Atlanta to get your bass player . . . parents none-the-wiser . . . fit all your friends and more, and whose hatch back was perfect for . . . enjoyment.

It’s that leather jacket that never quite fit, never will, *clinks* a little too much, and that’s a better friend than some people could ever be.

We shouldn’t take it for granted.

The road we have taken, or maybe the chimney into which we find ourselves squeezed, made the journey harder, but what stories do we have to tell and what good friends we have and good friends we’ve lost along the way (waaay-a . . .)!

So when the season tips off, just relax. Shuffle your feet. Cheer. Let IT in. Enjoy.

When you look at the screen during the game, don’t look at the score . . . just look at the name: New Orleans Hornets . . .

I remember when we used to sit, in the government yard in Trenchtown observing the hypocrites as they would mingle with the good people we meet . . .

Halfway through the season, don’t look at the standings . . . look at the stands, see yourself, your kids, your friends, and your people.

And then Georgie would make the firelight, and it was log wood burning through the night. . . and we would cook cornmeal porridge of which I’ll share with you . . .

When the season ends, don’t look at the post-season, look at the fact that now there will, without a doubt, ALWAYS be a next season.

Meet feet is my only carriage, so I got to push on through, but while I’m gone . . .

Everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna alright . . .

— 42
“Holiday Road”

Everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna alright . . .

— Bob Marley & The Wailers
“No Woman, No Cry”

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