Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Hartwell Chronicles …backtrack blues

For your consideration, I present a tale of a young reporter.
The reporter is question has to cover a Hispanic parade of sorts (no candy in this one) that walks from one end of town to the other.
Now the reporter has walked this path plenty of times during her lunch break and knows it is not a short distance.
Does she remember that? No!
She parks at the parade’s starting point and walks slowly along with the parade processional taking pictures.
“This will be quick,” she stupidly thinks to herself.
She walks, and walks and continues walking some more.
“Are we there yet,” she thinks about 30 minutes into the walk (times have been exaggerated).
Finally she realizes just how long a walk it is. Soon she will have to make that long trek back, in the cold, alone.
Yes, I am the reporter in question.
I was covering the Virgin of Guadalupe parade the Hispanic community in Hartwell hosted Dec. 14. This is a big celebration in Mexico every year from Dec. 9-12.
People sang and danced in honor of the Virgin Mary. Children and some adults were dressed as the indigenous people of old.
It was cold, very cold mind you, but one doesn’t notice that when you’re having fun.
OK I’m lying. I did notice it very much, but I still enjoyed the parade.
Then it was over, and I was left out in the cold, literally.
I seriously did not plan my arrival and departure. I should have just went to the mass and rode back with someone.
Sure I don’t speak Spanish. God wouldn’t have cared. I could have just prayed and praised in English.
I was holding on to the thought I would be done in time enough to get to my own church service (not Bedside Baptist for once).
I thought I could catch a ride back with the police escorts. They were long gone by the time I finished getting quotes (the police are never around when I need them).
So I proceeded to walk back on this cold and dreary day.
Honestly the walk isn’t that bad, it was just the cold that got to me.
I started singing Christmas carols to keep me going. Several people even honked and waved at me on the walk back.
“Don’t honk,” I mumbled. “Stop and give me a ride.”
But no one did … until I was less than two minutes from my car.
This one man asked if I needed a ride, but I politely declined.
One, he was going in the opposite direction I was walking. Was he really going to turn around for a stranger?
Two, I didn’t know him from the man on the moon. He could have tried to turn me into a house coat.
A few seconds later a man from the parade asked if I needed a ride.
“I tried to catch you before you left,” he said.
I declined his offer also.
They say God watches out for fools and babies. Next parade, I’m going to do some pre-planning.

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