I am a stars and stripes kinda guy. I even own a 1990 pair of American Flag, Chuck Taylor, Converse All Stars Hi-Tops. Out of respect to old glory, I only wear them twice a year, every year, without fail, once of fourth of July and once on my favorite holiday, FLAG DAY.
Many moons ago, I was looking for an excuse to blow off my job as a bar waiter in small Maine town so I could go to the local rope swing, drink warm Olympia Light, and listen to my new mix tape. To remedy the situation, a couple of summer roommates decide to start our own holiday. So years before "Festivus for the rest of us", we had Greta Garbo day. I honestly don't remember why the silent screen actress was behind our proclamation but I guess that was the point.
What I do remember is that we played a warped game of follow the leader through the quaint summer hamlet calling each other by our Greta Garbo Holiday names. Superstar, Coolest Kid, and All that Jazz are the ones that pop to mind. Looking back, this random mid-week summer holiday was idyllic in its simple celebration of freedom. It wasn't until we walked home gleefully sunburnt that we noticed all the American Flags hanging from every store front. Asking Brud the famous local hotdog cart vendor what was up with all the patriotic fervor he told us that it was actually Flag Day. Who knew Greta Garbo day and Flag Day fell on the same day?1? The serendipity being too much to handle, I decided that moving forward I would do myself the honor of celebrating this cosmic event by not working on such a hallowed date. Instead I would go for a swim, listen to music, and partake in general lollygagging.
Although I may have missed one or two in the last seventeen years (Flag Day is subliminal in its sublimity, it kinda sneaks up on you like your third cocktail), so far I have been pretty vigilant at keeping with tradition. One year of particular note was about nine years ago. I was on Martha's Vineyard, holed up in a beach shack trying to write my first script. Some old friends were on island for vacation, and it wasn't until we were on the way to grab lunch when I noticed all the flags. Needless to say the fun progressed at break neck speed and before too long it wasn't our over served and merry crew were dancing on stage with Toots & The Maytalls singing "Happy, Happy Flag Day!" to the tune of "Feels So Good" with Toots pointing between my Chuck Taylors and the Jamaican flag hanging behind the drummer who was barely containing his incredulous guffaws.
I would write more, but I am leaving for the airport to immerse myself in four days of music at Bonnaroo.
Happy Greta Garbo / Flag Day
-All the Jazz
PS Here's some motivation: Feels So Good