I was looking forward to having a nice walk this morning, Monday, May 1. I dropped our Town Car off at the dealer for servicing. I thus was going to walk home. Heartland is now located a little further from our residence than before. It's still close enough to make walking practical. Knock on wood as the years go by.
I have to walk through some weeds because there is no uninterrupted road. That's too bad. There has long been a non-maintained road crossing the field close to Pizza Hut. That road went unchanged through decades. It's still there but it doesn't connect with the highway anymore. It is now cut off at the ditch, a change that came about when the service road was put in.
So, I was going to take that nice healthy walk. People who remember me as a 10K runner would figure that walk is no sweat for me. Knock on wood as the years go by.
We ought to have nice conditions for walking on the morning of the first day of May, eh? I'm looking outside our picture windows facing the north as I write this. You would think it's February. Snow fell through the early-morning hours. I presume we can scratch another day of high school baseball and softball. Games were erased one day last week because of the sheer cold. Spring sports can seem like such a futile proposition. But we expect this weather adversity to come sooner.
Let me finish my story about my contemplated walk this morning. I didn't take it. I wimped out. I requested a courtesy driver and got a nice little lift home. We used the Town Car which was my father's pride and joy.
I remember through the years how a class of St. Mary's kids made rounds around town marking "May Day." I remember Barb Spaulding accompanying them most years. I'd be at my Morris Sun Tribune office in the old building now occupied by Morris Community Church. If the walls of that building could talk. In the pre-church days, names of deities would be invoked there for reasons other than church-related. The old model for newspaper work involved emotions and a frayed temperament so much. Newspaper writers were too often expected to work like a bat out of hell, perhaps chain-smoking and sweating while at the typewriter. We shake our heads over that now. It didn't even seem to be justified at the time. It seemed to grow out of a stereotype. Perhaps writers felt that working with such frenetic intensity suggested a sort of heroism.
Silly rabbit. The frayed temperament was never consistent with putting out a sound product. The sense of self-importance we once exuded was justified to a degree, perhaps, in the pre-digital age when communications were so much more limited. We were all beholden to newspapers. It's surprising that people still turn to papers as much as they do. The papers are part of such a broad range of media. They have downsized dramatically as you can see vividly here in Morris, where the paper has gone from publishing twice a week, to putting out one very slim paper - 18 pages with pages smaller than before - each week. And while readership has gone way down too, it appears there is still demand for a reasonably viable paper product.
I only look at the Morris paper in public places. I wouldn't consider buying it, ever. I remember when we had a school administrator who had smoke coming out of his ears if a certain sports game didn't get covered thoroughly in the very next edition. He once wrote me a terse and rather disrespectful note in which he claimed among other things that "news is perishable." What he really meant is that "I have strong political incentive to try to kick your butt." Today, all the MACA football game news has "perished" before it appears in our local print product. But does anyone even care? I don't think so.
I'm no longer in a position to appreciate seeing those St. Mary's kids making their rounds on May 1, "May Day." There is a Communist holiday called May Day. I don't think this is the context in which Barb and her charming students were celebrating. It would be cold for them today. We will have put up with seven months of absolutely worthless weather here. Have you done anything interesting out of doors in the last seven months? Stop and think. Even if you haven't, maybe you don't care much. Such is the nature of our world today, electronic gadgets, social media and the like keep our lives interesting. I think it's sad, though.
A nice long walk outdoors, just getting lost in your own thoughts, is invaluable. Later today, I'm going to try to psych up and walk back to Heartland Motors to pick up my car. Wish me luck.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org