“Meanderings” by Jim Peters

The latest observations and comments from regular contributor Jim Peters:

What with the weather and everything feeling slightly out of order, my mind has been meandering in all directions. First, I personally liked the Mayor’s former secretary, but I remember that in my Dad’s day, the person appointed only stayed for two years. It was never a permanent job, and when a new Mayor came along, you were looking for a new job. At best, it is a two year appointment. When the captain finishes his two years, he should expect that he has to find another job. That is what happened to Marty Meehan in the position during Mayor Rourke’s tenure, I believe. It is something that is up to the sitting Mayor and, to my best recollection, that has not changed.

Secondly, I already miss the warm weather. What a string of beautiful days. During a time when crocuses are usually the first thing to bloom, lilies are blossoming and people are already planning their summers. A friend of mine went to the beach on Thursday and he said that you could not walk the beach, there were so many people there. That kind of irked him, as he does not like crowded beaches, especially in March, but it fascinated me. And, while records were set, some did not surpass the same date in 1922. How does that fact fit into the idea that there is global warming? I am not Al Gore, I do not believe that I can come up with a reasonable explanation but maybe some of our readers out there can. I know that the world is warming, I just do not know if we are causing it with our carbon emissions. I think we are, but I am not sure.

My meanderings lead me to the role in our creation by Uther the Purple Dragon. I used to tell this one to my students. Legend has it that there once was an extremely large dragon named Uther. One day, after a particularly satisfying meal, Uther propelled himself through the cosmos to the group of stars called the Milky Way. He found himself wanting to rest, so he stopped himself somehow and rested. While resting close to the Sun, he felt good, the heat was wonderful for the very large dragon. So he basked in it and soon fell asleep. Alas, he had stomach upset and basically threw up. A bit of blazing rock flew out of his fire-filled mouth and burned like the sun. Thus was the birth of the planet, we know now, as Venus. Another burp caused a second propulsion. That one burned like the Sun and we call it Mercury. Seven more times, he propelled the contents of his fiery stomach into the cosmos. Eight planets in all burned brightly. He did not recognize them as anything but thown-up food so he did not name them. But the final one came out of another orifice and did not burn much. That one we all decided to call Uranus. And that is the story of the solar system’s start or beginning.

I would ask the students to prove me wrong but they could not do it. I had created another explanation for the “Big Bang” theory. Not that I believe my story but the students seemed to enjoy our brief respite from History. What does it have to do with History, I would ask. Not one thing, they would say truthfully. Not all classes were intorduced to the story. I only used it once, but they seemed to enjoy it as a twist. It was a story of a big bang, but coming from an ancient dragon, I dreamt it one night. It amused me and I hope that it amuses you.

Meanderings can come and go with tremendous speed. This morning I was sitting with a couple of friends who chided me for giving up ln the Kerouac Bridge. “Jack Kerouac used to urinate off of that bridge” one said, “it should be saved.” From what I hear, and this is all hearsay because I never met Jack Kerouac, but he had a reputation for odd behavior. Dan Murphy, a teacher I taught with for twenty years, wrote a very nice article called “Call the Darkness Light,” about his meeting Kerouac. It is a very good read, and, since he is the father of Mayor Murphy, you might be able to catch him and buy the story from him.

My emails all are about “an industrious city” a program apparently started by someone with University connections. I presume it is University related because it seems to have excited the interests of my good friend Paul Marion. I want to see more museums in the city, so I picked two, a Religious History Museum and an Education Museum and highlighted them for the email. I hope that is what they want but I really have no idea.

So, all meanderings aside, I think we should focus on the good the Mayor’s ofice can do and leave the two year changes to the person in the Mayor’s office. I am sure his pick is a good, well-organized man.