Thursday, May 28, 2009

Regional Priorities

In the Science Offices at the University of South Carolina Medical School (a State office), posted on a principal investigator's door, Dr. Desert Flower and I observed this notice earlier this month (it Was May 11th) as our recently graduated progeny showed us around his work place.

I've been in China during "Dragon Boat" festival. I've been in Taiwan during the "Moon Festival" where you sweep the graves of your deceased relatives. I've been in France during a co-worker's "Saint's name day" when they got the day off because the Catholic Church was celebrating their saint's feast day. I've been to Freital (near Dresden) Germany where they had the Spargus Festival serving massive spears of white asparagus for a solid month and celebrated like it was Oktober Fest. And I lived in South Carolina for almost 16 years, all-together, but this was the first time I've seen Confederate Memorial Day listed as a regional reason to have a holiday. Up in Greenville & Spartanburg SC, where I used to live, they used to substitute "Robert E. Lee's Birthday" in place of "Martin Luther King Day" up through 1999 - but they still took the 2nd Monday in January off.

I was going to label this posting "Anachronistic Colloquialisms" - but then I thought again, and changed it to "Regional Priorities". To many people reading this blog, celebrating a holiday to memorialize the war dead from a failed attempt to secede from the Federal Union sounds like anachronistic, unpatriotic, treasonous, misplaced nostalgia. But, as a son of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, who still celebrates and remembers my ethnic traditions, I don't think it is right to belittle South Carolinians' priorities and personal preferences. I don't agree with them, but if that's what they want to do, that's fine. Utah citizens practice Pioneer Day, New Orleans residents celebrate Mardi Gras... Savannah residents love St.Patrick's Day... whatever works for the citizens of that region, that's fine with me. I don't have to buy into it if I don't want to, and I have resisted the urge to ridicule it.


  1. I would be more okay with it if it were called "Worst Example of Treason in American History Day". It could be celebrated by having people dressed up in period Confederate costumes (like Scarlett O'Hara, R.E.Lee, Colonel Angus, etc.) recite the many verses in the Bible that promote and condone slavery and then publicly waterboarding them with bulk mint julep mix. Julepboarding?

  2. BTW...

    Colonel Angus:

    Rumor has it after the war he became a... "carpet bagger".

  3. I know you feel strongly, having been born, and grown up south of where Lee lived in VA. And I do not disagree with the treasonous nature of it the entire 1860-1865 actions of the South... but I have no problem with them celebrating a local holiday, if that's what the majority of the population in that region wants to do.

    "I like the heat, the humidity"

    "who is this rose bud?"

    LOL!!!! Thank you for the link.


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