2009/05/02

Sweeny Pride Day

This is the day we observe the most sacred feast of Sweeny Pride Day.   I can't tell you when Sweeny Pride Day started, and I most certainly can't give you any reason for its existence.  I have my doubts as to whether or not this information is even available.  In any event, like the trinity, the nature of Christ, and the smoky undertones of PokeE Joe's BBQ sauce, I am unable to explain it.  

What I do know is that on the first weekend in May, come rain or come shine, the good citizens of Sweeny have a festival.  Most years there is a little carnival too.  And, in the old days, when I was a kid, there was a circus.   I wish we still had the circus.  I liked the circus.

You know it's a special day because the shops had sales.  They are mainly re-sale shops.  I sometimes wonder why anyone in Sweeny ever buys anything new.  It seems like with all the re-sale shops in town we should be able to just trade for whatever we need or want.  I have some lights in my study, for example, that Mrs. Narin gave me.  It was a good trade.  Only I didn't give her anything back.  But, if she ever wanted anything of mine.  Shoot, I'd probably give it to her.

Last night I posted some photos of the little carnival.  The carnival isn't getting much business. I think the $4 per ride price tag is keeping people away.  We are not an affluent community, after all.   In any event, I doubt that people are staying away in protest of the giving of live animals as prizes.  There's no PETA chapter here.  Not many protests either.

Some of you may never have seen a real live small town, least ways not one way down here south of the Mason Dixon Line.  This place has slave blood in its soil, and the complexities of white guilt and black pride that come with it.  On my way to Houston, I pass by at least three former plantations.  And, by plantation, I mean a place that had slaves on it.   I am not dealing in abstractions.   There's the Levi Jorden just up the road, the Mims Plantation a little further up, and the Abner Jackson Plantation over in Lake Jackson.   

Several years ago, when I was a student at the illustrious Sweeny High School, I thought it was enough to simply not be a racist.  I have learned a lot about race, being an outsider, and bigotry since then.   I've read a little more of the Bible and spent some time on The Mount, as in Sermon On The Mount. I know better.  You know, now.   I wish I had been a better advocate for  my black friends in High School.  In my defense, I was only a kid.  I truly didn't know.  And, during the teenage years, a little ignorance can be forgiven.  

I  don't think it's so easily dismissed when we are older though.   Shouldn't we be putting away childish excuses?   Yet, let me tell you what I noticed this afternoon when I downloaded my photos.   First there was a cluster of white people, then eight or ten shots or black people, then more white people, then a cluster of black people.  So, despite the fact that I've created a slideshow which reflects the diversity I'd like to show.   The reality is that as I walk
ed through the festival I was essentially walking through a segregated park.  It was a stark reminder to me that in Sweeny we still have a long way to go.

Some of what you may believe about small
 town America is true.  
We have the Second Amendment, for example.  And, as you can see, we are proudly passing it on to future generations.  Even I own a gun.  Yeah, I do.  I didn't take it to Pride Day, though.

Sweeny is not a center of academia, nor do we do innovative liturgy, and there are no theological controversies to discuss.  The theological spectrum is so narrow that it seems like all the Christians should just form one big church.  They all believe pretty much the same things:  God is angry about sin, Jesus will save you with his magic blood, atonement is a mere theory... there's about four of them there spiritual laws.  I get lost around about number two.  

The people you'll be seeing aren't the movers and shakers of the world.  They are the workers and the doers.   They teach school, refine petroleum, and  shop at Wal-Mart.  This is where life meets the road.  And look at them... they are shining.  Look at their faces, so full of life.

We are somewhat removed from the cutting edge down here.  The hair is from the eighties, and some of the thinking is too.  I saw a Pallin/Jindel/2012 bumper sticker yesterday.  Seriously. Oh well, I heard on The History Channel that the world was going to end in 2012 anyway.      

Despite everything, though, I think these people are beautiful.  So full of energy.  There's divinity in each eye.  

Maybe just getting together to remind ourselves how beautiful we all are is reason enough for this day.  Happy Pride everyone.  Make a feast all you beautiful people.  Happy Sweeny Pride Day!


There are a couple shots of the little bishop at the end.

I added some photos after the initial posting.

And I found one typo that was SO blood awful that I HAD to correct it 

and so i published yet again... Sorry for so many updates.  

If I'd update my blog more often maybe I'd get the hang of it.

4 comments:

Ann said...

This is not "pride" day - is it?

Lindy said...

No. Not that kind of pride, just the regular kind. Of course, you can imagine the fun I've had with it...

Catherine + said...

Lindy, very insightful stuff; thanks.
Loved the slide show... ;-)

Barbi Click said...

Lindy, these people are beautiful. I think I understand.