As expected, we had our rain on Monday. Most places got between a half inch and an 8th of an inch. A shade more than I had thought but my plants are happy. Its gong to be chilly on Tuesday then the sun breaks out on Wednesday and Thursday. Not out of the question that we have consecutive days in the 50′s on Wednesday and Thanksgiving. That’s a nice change. Last week, we averaged a low of 27 and a high of 44. The average high and low for February 7th are 44 and 27. Yes, it’s too cold so enjoy Thanksgiving while it lasts because chillier air returns at the end of the week and holds through the weekend into next week. We had rain in the forecast for Friday but this weekend the models were coming around to advertise a low coming out from the west would stay to our south so we took the chances out. Early Tuesday morning, that data continues to be coming more in the form of a consensus so Light Up Louisville still looks to be dry.
Christmas tales: We watched a story on TV Monday night regarding Patchogue, New York that changed the name of their Christmas Parade from the Christmas Boat Parade to the Holiday Boat Parade. Of
course, the interviews were all of people who objected for a variety of reasons. Most of the reasons had to do with the religious aspects of the day though some were more into the tradition angle. But, Snow White came up with an observation that I had never thought of before. The origin of the term comes from what was celebrated in the church, which was the Mass of Christ. Now, over the years, people have long complained about the commercialization of Christmas. It took Linus to explain the true meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown. So, people didn’t like the Santa Claus and presents and decorations and stuff because it was overwhelming the meaning of the day, as
Charlie Brown found out. So, the question then arises, shouldn’t these folks be happy that they have taken Christmas off the title of these events? I mean, in doing so, they don’t take the commercialization of the season out of it but instead, takes out the religious reference involved in the commercialization. It seems to be a plausible discussion point that the term Christmas should be disconnected from the secular aspects of the season, thereby elevating the day back to one of Holy reverence. By insisting that the reference be included in parades that generally are filled with elves, candy canes and winter scenes but are generally absent of religious symbols it can be argued that doing so merely perpetuates the distraction of the meaning of Christmas. It could be considered wanting things both ways. Just some things to consider…
On This Date In History: On September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed by Ben Franklin and his
delegation as well as representatives of the English Crown. The Revolutionary War was officially over. On November 25 1783, the last of the British forces left the US on what is known as “Evacuation Day.” The Brits thought they’d get the last laugh by nailing the Union Jack atop a greased flag pole in New York. Much to their chagrin though, an American Patriot named John Van Arsdale put on spiked boots and climbed the pole, replacing the British Flag with an American Flag. The Brits on the ships leaving New York Harbor must have been very disappointed when they looked through their spy glass and saw old glory flapping in the breeze.
Apparently, there was a lady named Mrs. Day who got a little overzealous and whipped out the American flag on her flag pole before the redcoats had left. A British officer yelled at her so she pummeled his face with a broom stick.
There were really a bunch of Evacuation Days as various towns celebrated the day that the British troops left their particular town. I believe that there are still some towns that have holidays marking the day. But, in New York, after celebrating big time on the centennial of Evacuation Day in 1883, the celebratory atmosphere began to wind down. By the turn of the century, many New Yorkers didn’t even know what was evacuated or by whom. Following World War I, the day sorta fell by the wayside…I mean the English were our allies during that conflict.
Regardless of the public memories, the British memories at the time were quite scarred. They were sore losers. Prior to the shenanigans of the flag episode, a painter asked that the members of the peace delegations at the Treaty of Paris to pose for a painting of posterity to commemorate the occasion. Note that painting above by a man named Benjamin West. It is incomplete because the British delegation refused to pose like the sore losers they were.