Monday, June 14, 2010


Every year in my neighborhood summer begins with Midsommarfest, a street fair with a Swedish name, a nod to the immigrants who made up the bulk of the neighborhood population long ago.  I always go to the fair, even though it is at the beginning anf not the "mid" summer, and I always enjoy it.  At some point, the 80's cover band "Sixteen Candles" takes the stage  (one of the stages, as there are several) and the crowd sways, and sings along.  In all that crowd I find familiar faces, and friends I'd not been looking to find.  (Hi Ianni!  Hi Dane!  Hi Jennifer!) Dusk arrives, and night comes, I remember words to silly 1980's songs that I did not know the words to in the 1980's. I find my capacity to dance, and sing along, and here's a portion of the beautiful truth: for every crowd that can turn into something harsh and violent, there is also, and again, and ever a crowd with a talent and potential for mass joy, a democracy of happiness, where the hipster girl and the prep school boy, the toddler and the granny, the insane and toothless old man can clap their hands, some of them not quite in time with the beat. Clap your hands and grin and be part of this group of people brought together by a street fair, by circumstance, by Joe's friend Melanie who totally lives, like right around the corner so we should go and check this out. Witth the summer air, with good humor, with the scent of cooked meats and cotton candy and spilled beer, with music and a crowd of like-minded revelers surrounding us, the joy continues until the rain falls, and then in the downpur for a moment increases: all this happiness and a waterfall, too. 

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