Memorial Day 2022

I remember.

Decoration Day, some called it. Folks decorated cemeteries with small flags and flowers—some poppies—here and there. Taps and salutes decorated the air.

This year we’ve lost some decorating flowers. We took down the older of two apricot trees in our side yard. It was euthanasia in the prolonged drought. Its flowers had marked the homes of annoying little orange balls. They littered the yard and drummed the roof each fall.

The apricots gone, a reminder came from a different drummer. A wind-blown antenna has decorated our roof for decades, unused in cable TV times. We’d been too lazy to take it down. It thumped; its day had come.

We pulled the wires. We freed the canalé bolts and pulled the post. We tossed the metal tree to the yard below, then climbed down. We split the trunk and popped some elements row by row. Copper and aluminum will decorate the scrap yard.

We toasted the memory of the antenna’s flat wire. It had fed the Sherman Tank TV that decorated our living room. We wondered how many folks still have antennas—and how many unused. I found no guess online. We saw a half dozen antennas in our small neighborhood, and others as we drove around.

But it’s Memorial Day weekend. TVs will show car races marking the start of summer. The Indy 500 and the CocaCola 600, for two. Pedal to the metal: gimme cold one, right? Keep yer hand on it, bud.

Unabated, the Santa Fe streets will have their own car racing, near nightly. Small flags bearing veterans’ faces decorate lightposts on the streets out of town.