I broke dad out of the house to see what we thought would be a balloon/spiedie rally where in the morning and evening, I remember as a kid seeing dozens of balloons lift off. The news said the launch was 8 to 10:30 am. so at 7:30 am we put dads walker in the car and went down the road and saw five balloons in the air. I stopped at Starbucks, and we went to a parking lot where dad could either stay in the car or walk around and get a little exercise.
So we waited for an hour and voila…no more balloons. Dad was saying some interesting words about how far the city has fallen from its peak during the cold war. I smiled, was a bit bummed that we didn't see any balloons. If you have never witnessed one where dozens all go up together, it is something special.
On the website today, they say launce is 7 am. so I actually have no clue who or what to believe anymore what I do think is the "festival" is simply a money machine to make money and sell as much beer to folks that spend a lot of their time in an arctic freeze in winter and depression gray skies for most of the year. People go nuts when they see suns. You think I am making this up, but the place I grew up in is ranked 1 or 3 for most depressing weather.
As I think about that last statistic, if the weather is so bad why did they build a large sanitarium to the chronic alcoholic on top of the hill. I see the fantastic buildings, which are empty and think, "that's about it for the city, when they crumble, they will try to sell them and use them again."
I was filling up and a c-130 flew overhead when a distinctly English voice asked, "Hey mate, is there a lot of military around here?" turns out the man and his family were from Manchester, England and we had a lovely chat about how that city has turned around with city center and how this town was something of a tech hub during the cold war. I mentioned that they should come back in fall when the leaves all turn, as it truly is a spectacular thing to witness. But for today, there is an empty airport in a town where flight simulation as we know it was created and invented (Edwin link) and today…thank goodness there is a state university here. I would hate to think what the town would be like without it?
What is changing? A lot. It isn't all bad, but more is heading down than going up. For example, to make way for the super-wealthy in Manhattan. The folks there are going to Brooklyn, where those residents are pushing to queens and then there is the unwritten or is not talked about with the byproduct and reality of gentrification. You pay people to go to the more impoverished areas around the city, give them a bus ticket and make the issue of social services the problem of a town that has lost its economic base.
But that seems to be the way it works in the USA. It is also a sad narrative that despite people taking so many selfies and having billions of photos of everything, I doubt few see themselves, and all the things happening around them.
I read this quote in an article about therapists losing faith in society.
"contemporary society has lost sight of relational values. there is a collective narcissism so intractable that it is infiltrating every facet of life."
When I drive down the streets here, I notice even the poor have a cell phone. I also see a lot more people smoking cigarettes, despite the sky-high state taxes.
I am laughing thinking of my aging father's comments about the "damnit, five balloons? You have got to be kidding me. this town is going to sh*t."
There are a lot of people trying to improve it, but I fear the critical mass isn't going to be large enough to overcome it. There is a giant hemp facility coming to town, yet, when I look at the reality of that market, about 10% is for the good of humanity. The other 90% is for the greed of the people controlling the licenses. That past five years have been very educational in the area of cannabis and society/law enforcement/politics.
I think that the world might be sleazier than the music business?
Now I have a few days to work on the woo woo rooms and agrowspace. A bit of heaven on earth interrupted with taking care of dad as mom gets a break. When you see someone just surviving, you realize the gift of life. It is a beautiful thing, how humans come up with goofy ways to think "living" is supposed to be all fun and entertainment. It seems downright bizarre.
I rechecked the launch times and will try to break dad out of the house again tommorrow morning. there has to be more than 5 balloons here. i hope i am right.