Friday, July 22, 2016

Warning: Santa Claus is Not Coming to Town!

photo by Gage Skidmore / flickr

Years ago, young and green, I saw my first Broadway play. It was the beginning of my love affair with drama. The play I saw was called, Inherit the Wind. The theme was the trial about the monkey trials in Dayton, Tennessee. Would the high school teacher be indicted for teaching evolution? That was the underlying question. That night I heard words that I looked up after the play and they have been with me ever since. As I watched with great sadness the events in Cleveland this week, the words came back to me.

"That was the name of my first long shot, Golden Dancer. She was in the big side window of the general store in Wakeman, Ohio. I used to stand out in the street and say to myself, 'If I had Golden Dancer I'd have everything in the world that I wanted. I was seven years old, and a very fine judge of rocking horses. Golden Dancer had a bright red mane, blue eyes, and she was gold all over, with purple spots. When  the sun hit her stirrups, she was a dazzling sight to see. But she was a week's wages for my father. So Golden Dancer and I always had a plate glass window between us. But--let's see, it wasn't Christmas; must've been my birthday--I woke up in the morning and there was Golden Dancer at the foot of my bed! Ma had skimped on the groceries, and my father'd worked nights for a  month. I jumped into the saddle and started go to rock--and it broke! It split in two! The wood was rotten, the whole thing was put together with spit and sealing wax! All shine, and no substance! Bert, whenever you see something bright, shining, perfect-seeming--all gold, with purple spots--look behind the paint. And if it's a lie--show it up for what it really is!'"

photo by Gage Skidmore / flickr

--Roger Lovette /

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