93rd: Entertaining anyone at the table it is decent to present him with meat; undertake not to help others undesired by the master.
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BOXES AND BOXES
26 November 2004
With nowhere to go on Thanksgiving itself, we had the luxury of sitting and watching the Macy*s Thanksgiving parade. I'm not a big parade watcher, and I more watch at a parade rather than watching it, which means that as the parade starts, I'm sitting here at my computer, with the parade on in the background, writing about the opening number and the memories it evoked.
I didn't get the name of the first group that opened off the viewing for the parade, but it was about 40 bazillion dancers in pastel colors and scarves all dancing and waving their scarfs and sitting on, lying on, standing on, and carrying multi colored square boxes.
Looking at the boxes, the only thing that I could think of was a trip we took to New Orleans in 1990 to attend "River Fest," a jazz choir competition to be held at Loyola University. Dave was in the jazz choir that year. Walt and I went along as chaparones.
A big part of the jazz choir "set," such as it was, was a collection of some 10 boxes which the kids used to create different visual levels. The boxes looked identical to those which were in the parade today.
Now you have 20 kids and 10 boxes in California and they have to end up on stage at Loyola University if New Orleans. Schlepping them turned out to be a major deal.
Parents with larger cars took the boxes to the airport. Kids took turns carrying the boxes and each box was checked as a piece of luggage. Each box was given its own luggage tag number and the tag number was attached to the ticket of whichever kid happened to be carrying that particular box.
When we arrived in New Orleans and retrieved the boxes from the luggage carousel and we assembled the ten identical boxes and tried to get out of the airport, the security officer would not let us out until they had double checked the number of every damn box in the group. If kid A had box B, s/he couldn't take that box out. I mean--here is a group of school kids with ten identical boxes, all lead by a teacher and adult chaparones and yet they wouldn't take our word for it that the boxes all went together. So we had this big deal in the luggage area, checking to make sure that each numbered box went with whichever kid had originally checked that particular box in at the Sacramento airport.
And this was the days before security was tightened at airports!
The next problem, once we finally had escaped security, was getting the boxes from the airport to the hotel. Most taxis are not equipped to carry luggage and large wooden boxes. (Fortunately, Walt, the techie on the trip, had brought bungee cords to help with this problem.) Whenever possible, the kids carried the boxes. I think they even rode on the streetcars with the boxes, if I remember correctly.
Every time we had to go somewhere, we ran into the same problem--getting the damn boxes from wherever we were to wherever we needed to be, including then carrying them all from the cab or streetcar to wherever they were supposed to ultimately end up. This picture shows carrying the cubes to Jackson Brewery, on the banks of the Mississippi, where the kids gave a performance. Luggage carriers were a great help in schlepping the cubes for long stretches.
With all the abuse that the boxes took, it was inevitable that there would be damage. Walt had come prepared with a box repair kit and was ready to rebuild any boxes that suffered from all the rugh handling.
But the kids managed to perform several times, competed in the festival, and took top honors so it all seemed worth it.
The trip was also the occasion of one of our more memorable experiences. The kids encountered a street performer in the French Quarter and there, on an otherwise deserted street, he performed for them, they performed for him, and they sang together.
A lot of great memories from that trip, but the memory of transporting all those damn boxes was triggered while watching the Macy*s parade.
I suspect that the performers in the parade didn't have to schelp their own boxes and probably didn't have to tie them down with bungee cords to get into cabs.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Showing off their trophy.
This picture tugs at my heartstsrings because the two guys with their
legs up are