Tuesday, January 13, 2009

from the "When I was a Kid..." files

It's not as though snow has never happened in New England.
I know people who have never been north of Georgia who believe that New England is a year-round Currier & Ives print of families skating to Sunday meeting and dogs chasing quaint sledges along snowbanks filled with evergreen boughs that sing Christmas carols and sprout wooden-handle 25-sleighbell sets, which every young person with the inclination knows how to play for the Boston Pops directed by Arthur Fiedler.
Once the psilocybin wears off, most co-minglers begin to understand that even when I wax nostalgic about playing pickup games of hockey on nearby frozen marshes, that particular exercise took more preparation than just lacing up the skates. In fact, after sweeping off a few inches of powder and scraping away the inevitable stubble of marsh grasses, and fashioning two separate goals out of driftwood, cardboard boxes, and expendable clothing, the game lasted somewhere between eight and eleven minutes before someone's mother started rattling the dinner gong or someone else decided that the ice was too thin.

Much like modern teevee hawkee games, except some former True Original Sixer isn't saying, "Igh-sticking happen when de guy take de stick, you know, and he go like dat. You don'do dat, never never, you stoopid you do dat. Now 'ere's a commercial for Tim 'Orton, is doughnuts an coffee..."
Bastardized reminiscences of hockey movies and Bruins games on TV38 aside, Winters in New England are this:
The Puritan origins of dismal, humorless, doleful, afflictive oppression; the eloquence Sarah Vowell came this close to intimating in Wordy Shipmates This is my backyard and driveway. All Summer long, you'll hear me gushing effusively about the verdant and burgeoning vines of Gew├╝rtztraminer and riesling. "Come respire of the verdure and indulge in a porringer of Kentucky sippin' honey, won't you?" I'll provoke, after a day of tacking and heeling on the improbably suitable Buzzards Bay, waving a well-muscled but slightly grimy forelimb in the general direction of the estate's rolling fields of superlative vintages and their warm healthy glow of eventual intemperance.
But as one can plainly see, such is not the case during the dark months of Winter, when cheery pop records like Closer by Joy Division can only bring a little smile. Don't get me wrong, the sun can shine just as brightly on the hawks, osprey, deer, and turkeys, but when the temperature drops below 4° and the wind blows across those empty rows of naked vines in gusts upward of 20 or 30 knots, you find joy in very small amounts of green: Not so mighty a stem now, but it's been cold. Yes, somewhere in this .jpg of roots, leaf, bark, and charcoal, one can make out (around three o'clock) a spike, that someday will sport big puce phal blooms. For a plant found two years ago in the dark end of the "next-stop-dumpster" hallway, it's not disappointing as a Winter bloomer. We'll see how Winter blooms this year.
In the meanwhile, thanks to Steve, here's Japan's ethnopop sensation Shang Shang Typhoon with (what will ultimately be) a familiar tune:
Thanks, Steve.

2 comments:

bigsam27 said...

I never caught too many Bruins games on Ch 38 - I was busy watching The Creature Double Feature on 56...

ThirdMate said...

I never had a brand loyalty like that, but when MST3K first started I said, "Hey wait -- We waited all week to goof on these! Who knew there'd be money in that."

Fun clip, thanx BigSam!