Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day

Many years ago, the custom at Greenfield Peace Lutheran School, 7000 West Outer Drive in Detroit was for the students to run away from the teachers on May Day. I don't remember how it started or when (late grades), but I remember two years specifically, running and hiding ALL DAY from the teachers. The first year was an absolute joy, to finally be doing something I was good at (avoiding) as opposed to something loathsome and detestable (sitting quietly in hard wooden seats). I remember sweating and hiding with peers inside the building and out, breathing hard and laughing at the physical ineptness of those I respected for their ability to recite the list of all 39 prepositions. That day absolutely flew by; so much so that the bell ringing to end the day actually drew several 'awwwe man's.

So, spring time of the following year approaches, and I, like Ralphie drooling over his anticipated official Red Rder carbine action two hundred shot range model air rifle, was so disposed toward May Day. The Day came, and we began school as usual. 'When do we get to run?!?' was all I could process. I don't remember at what point our teacher began the commission: 'All right everyone, we're going to participate in the eons-old Schultzonian tradition of May Day. Please remember the two rules: don't run inside the building, and don't run on the grass.' That was all it took. We were gone - scattered in all directions. We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice.

There were close calls I remember, but I used my quick-wittedness to escape capture. One time, I even ran through the shrubbery in front of school as a shortcut to get away from the kindergarten teacher. I was immediately scolded through an open window, 'David, stay off the grass!'. 'But I wasn't running on the grass, Mrs. Filiatraute, I was running on the dirt!'

Pant, pant, pant, ... hide, hide, scamper, scurry, ... walk real fast down the hall to get a drink then back out where I could run, run, run!!! OOOOOPS - Mr. Nagle, the hump-backed sixth grade teacher lurking behind the large bush just outside the doors!! Quick sidestep right (every-body-clap-your-hands) and then a dash toward freedom down the shrubbery dirt again. Until I got to the main double doors and was met by the principal, whose countenance carried an 'I'm sorry I have to do this' look. 'David, inside.'
'Why?!? pant, pant'.
'You were on the grass.'
'I wasn't on the grass, I was running on the dirt!'

Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at it's zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.

And, honestly, I remember no more from that day, or from any other May Days for that matter.

Perhaps my iniquity put the nix on the whole May Day celebration thing, I surely don't know.

I do know that 5/1 is a great day to be alive, breathing, and vertical - thank You Jesus!!

Quotes not attributed to me are from the motion picture (1983)

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