Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Peace Vigil # 18, May 22, 2007

I was out in the area earlier in the day on Tuesday. A friend of mine and I went in a search for some local fish from the Great Lake Superior. When we left Ashland, the temperature was 86 degrees. There was a strong wind blowing from the South and you could feel the sticky humidity in the air.

We traveled North along the Western shore of Chequamegon, (pronounced Che-Wah'-May-Gon), Bay. We turned towards the West when we reached the top of the bay and followed Wisconsin Hwy 13. As we got further and further West, we noticed a temperature change so drastic it had us wondering if the was some kind of malfunction with the new GMC's navigation and climate reporting system.

The thermometer showed 46 degrees, a drop of almost 40 degrees, and it was abrupt. This was near the town of Herbster, located on the South shore of the Lake. As we navigated a County Road back overland, the temperature quickly rose up to 73, then 78, then back into the 80's by the time we got back to Ashland.

At the time of the Peace Vigil, Five o'clock PM, it was 89 degrees at the M&H Bank thermometer and the wind was ferocious out of the South. Clouds had begun to form and we wondered if anyone was going to venture out for fear of getting drenched when the rain starts.

Our count ended up at 22 adults and 2 children, no dogs or other animals. A great improvement over last weeks group. But since there is no organized group or name for the assembly, and we're all just individuals that meet and attempt to send our mesage for Peace, I think that the whole experiment is quite remarkable.

We had many of the usual "regulars" show up, but also many of the routine vigikers were not there. Instead, there were many new faces. People who have not been on the corner before. One woman, and I never got her story, came out for the first time and was holding a sign that someone had handed to her. The man who drove her sat in the car parked close by across Chapple Avenue.

Another small group of young women were busy tying black pieces of cloth to clothesline. Each piece of cloth symbolized the death of an American soldier. There wasn't 3422 pieces of cloth, the death toll of American troops since the war began, but the number of black strips numbered how many had been killed so far this month, May of 2007, and there were 80.

This display was brought out into the eye of the people as it had been a private and personal display that was hanging on the back yard clothesline of a concerned Ashland citizen with the deaths of the day marked by the hanging of a silk flower between the rows of black cloth strips.

Some names were read and "Presente" was the response. I don't know how many names were read. The whole group, usually bantering back and forth as we stand for peace and wave and acknowledge the onslaught of horns honking, thumbs up and Peace signs, stood in slience with heads bowed, not because we were told to, but because we wanted to, naturally.

As you know, we stand in the middle of town in front of the Post Office. A Veteran friend of mine who was there yesterday and I were talking. I looked around and amidst the signs asking for peace and the large Peace Sign Flag that is always there on Tuesdays, I noticed no American Stars and Stripes. I said that I thought someone should display the American Flag, but then I remembered that right behind me, on the corner, was the largest flagpole in the City of Ashland, standing in front of the Post Office. Our colors were well represented.

We took a couple of pictures. I'll post them here. But soon, we might have some real newspaper photos to post and an article. The Lake Superior Sounder, a weekly local newspaper sent a reporter out to the corner yesterday. The Ashland Daily Press also sent a photographer. I'm not sure if we'll get any press, but there might be some attention paid to the Tuesday Peace Vigil soon. In the meantime, enjoy the pics.

Peace to All. And thenk you for your part in bringing and end to war.


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Mary said...

It's a beautiful thing. I am glad for the representation of lives lost. It needs to be in peoples face.

Worried said...

Way to go, Spado.

Don't forget the casualties in Afghanistan. Although far less than those in Iraq, the 300+ dead are no less precious sons and daughters of America.

Bless your group!

Peacechick Mary said...

I was thinking about the small area with cold temps and here you are a small, but noticeable group of people with a message. So happy to know you and glad you are posting the whole experience. That presentation of the deaths is a powerful way to tell the story.

betmo said...

peace in our time my friend.

bluegrrrrl said...

Thanks for all you do, spadoman. YOU'RE A GOOD KID!!!

(p.s. sorry I've been scarce...I think my mental vacation is over now...)