Commercial Record

Blue Star

By Scott Sullivan
Silly Season
“Elect” means to choose or chosen, a ritual registered residents 18 and older who choose to vote will repeat next Tuesday. God knows before and after who’s elect per John Calvin. Take betting tips from him.
Michigan’s next governor will not be a him but her, same as now perhaps. In Saugatuck-Douglas, voters will pick a deciding-majority four of seven city council members for at least two years.
Less locally, new District 38 (salamander-shaped from here down to Indiana) state rep, Supreme Court justices, school boards and so on. Proposals too will or not win X’s.
Politics: Organized Madness. All three speak.
Politics: The study of power as a science becomes practice in government, earning a bad rap sometimes. Order beats and breeds chaos in human interactions; who submits to who in marriages or the workplace? In the military it’s by rank; in business woe be to leaders who trail markets. Who says circus players aren’t sincere?
Organize: To arrange systematically grants power over those who do not or can’t. Businesses, armies, governments, charities … gain with scale momentum best checked by thought-out questioning. Steamroller bosses flatten contours that may be needed later. Means serve ends; reversing them means the end.
Madness: I’m mostly post-rage but haven’t yet ruled out crazy. When you’re sane you see chaos from the outside in. Insane judges judge insanity; the creative find ways of coping. Teach me how you perceive things.
Why preach or sell we are going to hell when we live in heaven? Sure we are, always have been. “Our decline will grow worse unless …” I see things at the same time rising.
With so many ways to see, budget endless time, watch no watch, dive all in. The only measuring stick is yours.

I was too dumb or by then too gone to fit on my Official Photographer vest for the Douglas Halloween Parade. By then I was lost in streetwalking, studying light and people, sun setting, crowds growing, camera and flash strapped around my shoulders. There had to be Velcro somewhere? I draped it backwards.
My disguise was as the heron featured on last week’s (then the current) Commercial Record cover: “The Hunter … With yellow eyes, stealthy, silent, the heron comes, in a flash barely splashing center pond surface north of Community Church of Douglas, plucking up small prey.” I should have worn yellow contacts.
I’d shot Saugatuck’s day Halloween parades for years, leaving the adult spectacle for flash shooters. With my own now — Who says any light’s artificial? — it was rile-and-terror time, plus a pleasant night that seemed burgeoning. The best way to learn how much more I have to learn.
The goal was immersion: study players, set-up, where on Douglas’s downtown stage light and movement were and would be, lose yourself to find it, aflame from an Arctic distance.
Women towed wagons with glow sticks and light-up laurel wreaths to hand out. One placed the latter around my head which, like my hair, nothing fits.
The biggest head belonged to the Pumpkin King, a giant jack o’ lantern set on stilts by Hystopolis (Hyst- as in hysteria, -polis as in city) Productions. Mike Schwab and Larry Basgall, the latter confiding much was Greek to him, also go as the Village Puppeteers. Parade Chair and Pumpkin Queen Erin Wilkinson counts as a member too.
At its appointed hour, the King would arise and be carted from the Old School House: two stories of white wood slats floodlit green and orange, and proceed among costumed revelers east down Center Street.
He rose for the money shot on this week’s cover. Could and should have been better — Truth feeds my appetite. I’d remembered to carry batteries to recharge my flash, but otherwise gone so long I’d forgotten carbs and I’m diabetic. Damn, left them in my car. With crowds and action peaking, how could I get back there?
I stooped to duck under barricades; viewers packed tight helped pick me up and I worked my way back to the pretzels still in my glove box. Now my blood sugar was restored and the show was ended. Vest on backwards, faux floral wreath cocked crooked on my head still glowing, I headed home.
I’d spent about four hours snapping 800+ pictures pared down next morning to around six I now think are flash-splash keepers, plus more per friends’ requests.

The Hunter
Compare and contrast was an axiom in school for me growing up, an assignment still not completed. Plants grow down too, sinking roots. Many ways to taste, smell, hear, see, feel.
Growing whichever way, Halloween and elections framed and still do my mother’s birthday, in 1931 officially but Nov. 7 rolls ‘round yearly too. Love others, she taught, but still like and be like you.
Can you think of a better time and place to find out?

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