Opinion & Editorial

Looking ahead, looking back – Chronicle Columnist

As you read this you are probably in that strange zone of crumpled Christmas wrappings and thinking about a new year in front of you. With both Christmas and New Year’s falling on the first of the week it puts a funny spin on things holiday. Well, that’s the luck of the draw. The calendar will march on and in a few years the holidays will happen on the weekend where — from a business viewpoint — they belong.
The Winter Solstice was last Friday, and the days are now getting a few minutes of light added each day. While we still have some cold and freezing temperatures ahead of us, warmer and lighter days are coming. So, as you hopefully ruminate over pleasant holiday memories and begin to ponder a look into the future, 2019 is knocking at our doors.
2019 will bring some significant golden anniversaries: 50 years ago, Woodstock, People’s Park, and our local Oregon Country Fair all had their first gatherings. Now 50 years later the vibrations are still being felt, and all three of those seminal events exist today in some form.
There is talk of a 50 years Woodstock concert; there are still a few of the original performers around, who do in fact still perform. People’s Park is in the news again as U.C. Berkeley has announced plans to develop the much fought over user developed park. Let’s see if People’s Park activists have one last riot in them.
I know the Country Fair has been gearing up for a milestone year, and some interesting recollections have been shared via the Fair Family News. We have also lost some dear family lately: Rest in peace Chez Ray, Robert DeSpain and many more. The Fair also has had growing pains trying to accommodate an ever growing crew of volunteers, all who need camping space, along with Elders who have given 20 or more years of service.
It is hard to imagine the swinging sixties as senior citizens, but there it is. Ah to be barefoot in babylon again!
Being from the South, New Year’s Day means one thing to me, black-eyed peas, cornbread (no sugar) and greens. When I was a kid, I always looked forward to this tasty meal. The leaders at our Methodist Youth Fellowship tried to make a point one Sunday night at our snack supper. They switched the usual Sloppy Joe’s for black-eyed peas and bread. When I asked for my third helping of peas, I was sternly told that I was missing the point. They wanted us to think about people so poor they had to eat black-eyed peas. I still am not sure I get that point. If southern, he who is rich would also want to eat black-eyed peas.
Also, it is a deeply held superstition that eating black eyes on New Year’s Day brings good luck — greens being for money coming your way. I would never think of taking a risk to not be eating my peas at New Years. I have managed to have my peas in Switzerland, Cuba and even above the Mason-Dixon line. So, lay in your wares.
Here is wishing you all a very merry holiday and a black-eyed pea new year. Peace!

Dana Merryday is a columnist for The Creswell Chronicle can be reached at 541-942-7037 or by emailing [email protected]



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