By: Tamon Mark Uttech
Success or failure may be none of your business, but your hometown where you were born, where you began to grow up (not everyone does), occupies a point on the map of your heart.
Whenever you return to your hometown you may be surprised at all the changes; “shikataganai” is a Japanese expression that translates “It can’t be helped.” Most surprising are the things that do not change. Old friends may openly marvel at the change in you, but because your connection inborn and strong remains, the open secret is that nothing has changed one bit! We are interested in ourselves; we are interested in taking another look.
These are my after-thoughts of attending Riverfest in Watertown this August 2013. Some of the locals call it “Liverfest” because of all the drinking and carrying on (no carry-ins) that goes on each afternoon until well into the evening when the park closes. A solid 4-day weekend affair. The pun is said with affection rather than derision because ‘reunion’ is implied more than anything.
And reunions happen. Facebook simply does not have the power of Reality. Although I do not always find who I may be looking for (I do not always know), I am always surprised by who I find. Features are things that change and do not change. Someone you have not seen since grade school may suddenly appear right in front of you; you know them. They know you. You are both surprised. They may have their children with them, and the children resemble them.
I walked about the carnival grounds; the kids on the wild rides used to be me, and also my own kids. When places that you can’t go back to appear before you, you wonder where you are. And you want to go back one more time. Not on the wild rides though. You know better than that. An old friend wants to buy you a bier.
“Sure,” you say, and head straight to the craft biers tent.
You order a Night Train because you like the name and it fits.
Another friend says, “and the train goes rolling all night long…”
And it does until a tap on your shoulder wakes you from your night train slumber.
“The park is closing,” says the police officer. He wants some ID so you hand him your driver’s license and assure him that you came on the bus and are leaving on the bus.
The driver called it a yellow submarine, but you knew better. It was a night train and it got you safely home.