Letters to Holly

Friday, June 8

The Procession

A local man signed up for the military after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan last week. His body arrived at the Asheville airport and received a formal color-guard procession all the way to Brevard yesterday. Folks stood along the highway with flags as the hearse drove by. I missed all this; I was in Asheville buying business-card paper (I was going to go to a print shop to make my convention cards, but I don't need 1,000 of them, even for $40) . Two local radio hosts decided to use this event to measure their demographic.

Host No. 1 thought the classy thing to do at a funeral procession is to have his listeners honk their horns at the same time. Fortunately, the procession started too late, and he didn't get his communal horn blast. Ass.

Host No. 2, a local preacher/activist, got into the procession and gave live play-by-play during the drive to Brevard. I was about 15 minutes behind the procession and still on I-26 for most of its slow drive to town. When I arrived in Brevard, it was about ten minutes after they arrived. The host described a mob of people all along the route, even some standing in the road. I didn't see any of this. He described hundreds of flags unfurled at roadside. I didn't see any of this. He name-dropped all the businesses he claimed had sufficient patriotic displays. I didn't see any of this. He compared the attendance to that of the Christmas parade numerous times. What I did see was the traffic moving along the secondary roads. All the intersections along the route were blocked by firetrucks, and Brevard was a parking lot when I arrived. People were driving past the funeral home to catch sight of the hearse. Just the day before, the host was summoning his listeners to the route to stand guard for nameless, liberal, anti-war protesters who were sure to vandalize the procession somehow. This, of course, didn't happen, and the preacher can now claim his audience denied the alleged plot. Double ass.

Now, obviously, a smalltown mass gesture of respect for a native fallen soldier is never something I will poo-poo. But blatant radio stunts are, and both these guys have cemented their status as unscrupulous bastards.

Your Parents delivered an anniversary gift and one of Your Grandmother's scrapbooks to me earlier in the day. Your Sis and I sat down to thumb through, and it's all baby pictures. A few of you, one of Penn, and the rest were her. Despite the inarguable cuteness of her baby pics, I was distracted by the photos of Your Mom. I can't see at all what drove her to get reconstruction work. Of course, I'm biased; you're all head-turning.

We then met Travis and Kathy for dinner at the pub and suffered through a tragically overwhelmed waitress. I placed my food order three times. I took the high road and tipped well. Your Sister has her last day of proper school today, although there is remediation next week for the losers who can't follow instructions. We'll probably miss a faculty party tonight in order to grade papers.

Picture of the Day
I have no idea what this is from.

No comments: