Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Band or Bracelet, or NASCAR

Is it a bracelet or a giant rubber band?  Occasionally I wear a colored rubber strip with a message around my left wrist for awhile to express myself.

The first time I wore a yellow and blood red band that said USMC in black letters, which I picked up for free at a Marine recruiting booth at a fair, when I went down the Grand Canyon on a week-long trip for my first Bucket Trip in 2008.  I never served but my father and brother did and I intended to give it to my oldest son as a memento when I returned.

Then last year around Thanksgiving I picked up a blue band for a $2 donation that said in yellow lettering Occupy, We Are The 99% when I visited the Columbus (OH) occupy camp in support of those committed young people.  That band was a great hit in Dallas where I went to work at a regional office for most of December, where my mostly conservative co-workers would point out any gathering whatsoever that we encountered, be it a union line or a health care demonstration or even a concentration of homeless people and say, "Peter, there are your friends."

I took that band off on New Year's day, figuring I'd shown sufficient support.  A few weeks ago I picked up my current bracelet for $1 in a store discount bin, a light blue band that says, NASCAR Unites 2011.  (Below: I'm on the left standing next to my running buddy John, about to go out for a run on the Mall while wearing my powder blue NASCAR band on my left wrist.)

No one who knows me can figure out why I'm wearing a NASCAR band but I tell people who ask that it's me getting in touch with my redneck side.  You know, the liberal who was a cop for nine years, the NRA opponent who keeps a weapon in the house, and besides, I've been to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum in Dawsonville, Georgia, which features lots of NASCAR memorabilia.

I was in a quandary when to take off my showy NASCAR bracelet but today, America's Independence day, is perfect.  An American having celebrated being a good American for weeks with a NASCAR band will retire the bauble to a drawer on July 4th.

As for the USMC band that started it all, that's in a drawer where I threw it when I returned from the Grand Canyon since I don't know where my oldest child is.  He hasn't communicated with me since 2007 (he so loves his Mother, my ex-wife who won't tell me his address or phone number, or even if he is well or not).

Hey Jimmy Rogers, contact me if you intend to use the pre-paid Virginia tuition plan I purchased for your educational benefit two decades ago because the administering board insists it's going to foreclose the plan soon and return my money to me (and require me to pay tax penalties) unless I can demonstrate to them that it will soon be used for its intended purposes.  I have protested the board's attitude to no avail, as I can advance to them no information as to why the plan should remain in place beyond its ten-year limitation, per IRS rules, aside from the divorce court decree which the board claims lacks force over them.

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