Still sitting in the hotel room waiting for the paperwork to be completed on the purchase of Nautical Dreamer. I think this has taken longer than any of the times we bought a house. Maybe it just seems that way. We both have heavy-duty wanderlust at this point and are longing for the open water and some new experiences.
Yesterday was the 4th of July so we decided to go to the festivities here in Denison, TX. There was a band covering the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, with a few John Mellencamp, Springsteen and The Who thrown in for good measure. The singer wasn’t the best but was fine for the venue. I was having flashbacks to North Carolina when we got there. Everything was being held at the high school football stadium and attached park. That is not to say it was AT the high school. Just like in my first teaching position, the stadium was multi-purpose for the town and built at the center of it all. Just like in Wallace, NC, it was a beautiful stadium built by the school, the city, and private company contributions.
Munson Stadium is grand. We sat on the home side so we could use the stadium seats (with BACKS—yahoo!). Well, here, just look.
And check out this press box.
Yes, that dweeb is me in the middle of the photo.
I started to think about how lucky these teenagers were to have this type of facility and wondering if they appreciated it. As time went by and people started to fill in the areas around us, we saw a remarkable sight. Families spending time together. Dads and kids tossing the ‘ole ball around. Moms chasing little kids around the field, laughing. As a former teacher, I heard stories that would curl your hair and some that were just sad. Kids eating ramen noodles every night for dinner while they sit in their rooms on the computer because their parents are working. So many things wrong with this. Why do the parents have to work so hard to pay their bills?
At any rate, we thoroughly enjoyed people watching. Right before the fireworks were to start, the mayor went to the microphone and did his thing. Throughout the time we were there, a smattering of people were listening to the music and the mayor, while others continued with what they had been doing. Then, an astonishing thing. The mayor introduced a local pastor for the prayer (yes, we are back in the South), followed by the pledge and the National Anthem. Silence fell across the field, in the stands, and the outskirts of the park for the entire time. ALL the hats came off. There was an expectation in this town, passed down from generation to generation. Whether you go to church or not, you are respectful. You remove your hat and shut your mouth. Period. Now I would argue it is easier to do this in a small southern town where everyone is either a Southern Baptist or a Catholic and I can see some of my friends cringing at my advocating for this; but it really is simply being respectful.
Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of organized religion (although I do believe in God) and I’m not here to argue whether there should be prayer at a public event. I’m simply advocating for public civility. I’m old enough to remember when it was a requirement to remove your hat indoors and during the National Anthem. And for heaven’s sake, wait until the song is complete before clapping and shouting. It really irritates me when the singer hits that high note and the audience thinks that’s their cue to shout, whistle and clap. Apparently, it is too difficult to hold it in for a few more seconds. Well, I think its rude and I’m usually laughed at for that opinion; but I’ve moved into old age. I learned from my grandma that the older you get, the more you can speak your mind. There was not shouting and clapping until the song was finished AND they actually sang along (another of my pet peeves).
Anyway, going hand in hand with this is my feeling that the kids DO know how lucky they are to have such a grand stadium. In the same way that they will eventually realize that the manners they learned as a child will be a benefit to their future.
Enough of that—geeze, for someone who doesn’t believe in organized religion, I sure know how to preach. The best part of the night was using the 3-D glasses, given to us when we entered, to view the fireworks. We placed them over the phone lense to capture these.
A local radio station was blasted during the show with a compilation of songs. I never thought I’d hear Neal Diamond and AC/DC in the same mix. Also, I didn’t get where “Pink Houses” with its condemnation of America (and for that matter “Born in the USA”) would fit in a celebration of America. That aside, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Yes, we are anxious to leave here, but everyone is so nice so we have enjoyed our time here. Stay tuned for the move onto the boat and the upfit (please, soon).