Christmas rolls in, slowly, for weeks, but when it’s over, it’s over. My brother and his family usually stay at the downtown Hyatt when they’re up here for the holiday but this year, in the middle of pandemic, they rented a place on the lake out near County Line Road where they hosted a family gathering outside around a fire. They told us that one of their neighbors was flying a Confederate flag along with a Blue Lives Matter flag. They were aghast although my sister-in-law didn’t know what the blue striped American flag was. Probably not too many of them in Montclair, New Jersey.
One of my other brothers said he agreed with the whole Blue Lives Matter thing and I said what I thought about that. Pathetic that they can’t even give Blacks that much, that their lives matter. It was a lively discussion, one my brother characterized as an argument.
Funny how people in the same family can have such wildly divergent perceptions. We have a niece whose posts attack Bill and Melinda Gates, who are some kind of saints as far as I can tell, and memes of “Normal People” (picture a generic small grouping of people without masks) versus “Conspiracy Theorists” ( small grouping with masks on). I used to hop on Facebook to promote the band gigs and I was always running into my cousin’s rants about the government taking away our guns. Or another relative badmouthing Greta Thunberg.
We saw the American flags out at the road on way out to my brother’s rental. People used to hang flags on their house or on a pole in the yard but now they put them out by the road, an in-your-face display of patriotism.
I’m hoping the gathering was not a super spreader event. Our friend, Steve, called us on Christmas to tell us his daughter, her husband and Steve’s two grandkids had tested positive. Steve was with them two days before and he sounded hoarse.