Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mayday! Mayday!

Originally uploaded by sfPhotocraft.
I can just picture my grandmother running around in a white linen gown, laughing with the other kids and bringing flowers to her mamma. Back when my Grannie was a little girl, she and and the rest of the folks in Burgess, Mississippi had a big party each May 1st. They hung baskets of May Day flowers and wove floral garlands. Otherwise proper Methodist and Baptist families even danced like pagans around a Maypole!

My own experiences with this holiday are a lot less festive. I've never actually celebrated May Day. The closest I ever came was making a construction paper basket of flowers in grade school. The teacher had run them off on the mimeograph machine. My classmates and I colored them with crayons, cut them out with our dull safety scissors, and glued the tabs together with our smelly non-toxic paste. I remember being annoyed that I got light blue construction paper instead of yellow. Some party!

There's no Maypole downtown today. Nobody is passing out baskets of flowers. I wonder why we don't celebrate May Day anymore. I guess the families living in MS around 100 or so years ago were closer to their European roots and their "old country" customs. Or maybe Mayday is dying out because it's not commercial enough to catch Madison Ave's eye.