Wednesday, August 18, 2010
A Cavalcade Of Residential Industrialists
But I might just be blowing smoke here, because what if you don't know what a cavalcade is? There was a story in the paper, I think it was just this morning, that said something about the younger generation growing up without a lot of the things we older folks knew. It's a list put out by Beloit College. It covers what the Class of 2014 knows and doesn't know about.
The list I have has 75 things. Number 1 is "Few in the class know how to write in cursive." This is a weird one for me. Because when I came home from school telling my mom we had to write in cursive, and this has been around 50 years ago, neither she or my dad knew what I was talking about. I'm still not sure why they said that, or maybe acted like they didn't know about cursive. Maybe it was just the word itself, because my mom had beautiful cursive penmanship and my dad sloppy. Number 2 is "E-mail is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail." E-mail is too slow? It's there in a second! Unless they mean it takes more time to get to than just a text message.
I'm not going to review the whole list. I'll just scan it here, and ... no, I don't see anything about cavalcades. But I kind of like Number 69: "The Post Office has always been going broke." How true that is! Pair that one with the fact that they seldom use snail mail and you can see the post office is doomed. They need to clean up the post office, in my opinion. You go there and you're immediately confronted with dusty, cobwebbed skeletons of people still in line from years ago. It's very discouraging. Why they ever wasted money on the three unused cash registers when they only needed one is something I'll never know. The only thing worse is Wal-Mart, where you have $200 worth of groceries heaped in a cart and they only have one lane open. I look up and think I see 35 other cash registers, although it might be a trick they do with mirrors.
Anyway, there's nothing in the list about cavalcades. Seriously, I think cavalcades were out even when I was a kid. But we used to have a lot of old time magazines that Grandma kept, and that's where I saw pictures of cavalcades. And I definitely remember seeing them on newsreels. Because that's how they inspired people back in the '40s (I saw the films later) to participate faithfully in the war effort. They'd put a butcher, a banker, a doctor, a lawyer, a factory drudge, a nurse, an ingenue, and a salty sea captain in a triangular formation, a phalanx I'd call it, and they'd be marching in place. To me, that's thrilling. Because it shows how "on the same page" everyone is, whether they live over on the West Side of town ... or over here on the East with the rest of the drudges. I technically (on Grandpa's half acre) live on the Southeast side of town, and we love it, because historically our taxes have been very very low.
I think of those marching folks from the '40s, a cavalcade of occupations, and I'm immediately inspired. Then over the years, as a kid and now as an adult, I've dreamed of other possible cavalcades. I remember back in the '70s I sketched out a whole "Cavalcade of Races." I had all the major races represented: Your whites, of whom I am a proud member, having been born that way, right in the center front, your blacks, and the other colors, yellows, reds, darker whites, off whites, extreme blacks (Somalis), pale yellows, browns, albinos, the Irish, Semites and anti-Semites, interracial contortionists, Japs, and, as they said in World War I, the Huns. Grandpa was in World War I and that's why our family still won't drive a Volkswagen: "I won't drive no Hun car!"
But I myself have always been enlightened on the racial question. I see them on TV and I'm great. I'm just real careful in the city, where you never know who you might run into! That's just being smart. But it doesn't mean I don't want people coming together. I do. In a marching cavalcade, showing the unity we have, the brotherhood of man.
And the same is what I envision for the Residential Industrial Movement. It'd be a lot like the occupations cavalcade, but it'd be the different manufacturers who make up our movement: Tire manufacturers, and those who make everything else, vats, disposable diapers, straitjackets, wheels for hospital beds, knobs, buttons, and switches. As it turns out, it takes someone to make every little thing. And when he does ... he wants to know he's not alone, but that someone else is out there with something it might fit. And a good movie or film about the Cavalcade of Residential Industrialists would go a long way to showing our unity.
I'm an old fashioned optimist, that's my problem! If I would've thought of it way back in Kindergarten, we would've been marching in a triangular phalanx right up to the school, showing the older kids we were there to stay. How do you like that? But I think Kindergarten was a Hun idea.