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March 24, 2016

A Rest from Nerve-Wracking News

Harry M. Covert

It is a good thing society, as we live it, is fat and sassy. Of course, there are numerous levels of our standing and, let’s face it, we’re more fortunate than most of the rest of the world.


No, this is not the beginning of a sermon, homily or discourse. As Holy Week nears the Sunday celebration of Easter, a break is in order from all the national and local “mischief” getting attention 24/7.


Miss Marple, one of the great fictional sleuths, says in books and television episodes, “Americans have a lot to learn.” This was really a positive remark from the perilous days of the ’30s and ’40s. Actually, Frederick Countians and other Marylanders are fast learners, faster than most other peoples.


In times past preparing for the chocolates and hard-boiled eggs and other sorts of candies, before the onslaught of mass diabetes treatments, it was fun with the Easter Sunday parades. Folks delighted in strutting downtown in their new spring duds, children carried their baskets and the dapper boys eyeing the pretty girls. Oh, yes, they were lovely.


Why not give a break from all the nerve-wracking news, good and bad?


The first time I ever had a “tailored” sports coat came at about 12. My mother enlisted the help of Grandmother Libby, my aunt Tena and Missus Crow, whose sideline was part time seamstress for friends and neighbors. She also was my Sunday School teacher and always brought in some kind of candies for us sweet kids.


Grandma found the sport jacket in my uncle’s closet. He had grown quite a bit and the “tailors” went to work measuring, cutting and fitting my youthful form. I could barely contain myself. Honestly I couldn’t wait for the girls in Sunday School to see my debonair self. No politics hit the conversation that week before Easter. I tried to listen for any gossip, but there was none I could hear, so out in the yard I went climbing up the chinaberry tree.


In those peaceful times. the only war going on was the Korean Police Action. We didn’t know it during the fittings, but it wasn’t long before Harry Truman had enough of Douglas MacArthur, who became mortal and was soon fired as the supreme commander, American Caesar and disobedient five-star general.


A local well-liked young soldier from our city became our first casualty somewhere in Korea. That sort of spoiled the holiday. Danny was a good young man. I was just learning my way.


There was no radio news of that sad death. No television mention. Just an obituary in the local paper.


In these days of constant news about discord around the world, we can take a few days to remember parading downtown in the finery. Yes, I thought I was something, too, in my nice jacket, tie and white shirt with cuff links. Church was filled, and after a rousing sermon by Brother Dullabaun, we all got little boxes of hard candy and some chocolate, too. He didn’t talk about Easter bunnies or baskets but, at home, we were loaded.


Oh, yes, along with Uncle Carl’s re-tailored jacket, I wore a red rose in the lapel. Several of the girls noticed, and it remained there all day. I sashayed downtown, daydreaming about how sharp I might be in about a decade. I’m still trying.


There is restorative thinking about the happy days of kid-dom. I may just take a walk in downtown Frederick as a gentle reminder. The good old days are really now. The eateries are open and the variety is great. With a smile on our faces, Easter dining is at its best no matter the cuisine.


Local, state and national affairs can take a back seat for a while.


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