The Magic And Wonder Of Presidents Day

This is a special time of year for me and my family. Presidents Day holds so much meaning and so many great memories for me even now as an adult.

When I was a kid, every year my brothers and I, with barely contained excitement and anticipation, would count down the days until that magical, magical day – Presidents Day!

And now that I have children and even grandchildren of my own, the wonder and excitement is still there.

Of course almost as great as Presidents Day was Presidents Day Eve for my brothers and me.

It was a treasured tradition in my family that every Presidents Day Eve my dad would dress up like Lincoln and my mom would put on her George Washington nose and wig and we would fill a thermos with sugared hot tea and drive through town looking for all the streets named after presidents so we could gaze at the street signs all lit up by the glittering street lights.

Then, after we came home, us kids would get ready for bed.

But we could barely sleep. Because the next day was Presidents Day and we knew that while we slept the current President, LBJ or Nixon at the time, would come to our house and hide one and five dollar bills for all good children.

And oh what a glorious morning every Presidents Day morning was! We’d get up at 5:00 AM and search for the bills with Washington and Lincoln pictures on them.

Yeah, we knew we were just lower middle class kids and that some rich kids were probably finding Jeffersons and even Franklins (even though he was never a President). But it didn’t matter, we were just thrilled that another Presidents Day was finally here!

We’d spend the day enjoying our ones and fives while mom and dad lounged around in their pajamas drinking more sugared tea and preparing the big Presidents Day dinner, usually followed up with a dessert consisting of a chocolate cake shaped like the Whitehouse.

To cap off the evening dad would read the Gettysburg Address or Washington’s Second Inaugural Address. Then to bed we’d go and start the countdown for next year.

On this Presidents Day, as I think back on those happy days, I can’t help but be a little sad. Presidents Day has become so commercial and shallow.

It’s just a paid government holiday and excuse to have a Presidents Day Sale at mattress stores.

So I guess my biggest wish this Presidents Day is that we all take a moment to reflect and try to keep ‘President’ in Presidents Day. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it feels good and sounds sincere.

Oh, and I’m sure that many folks are relieved, and many disappointed as well, knowing that it’s Biden, not Trump, who will be sneaking into your house on Presidents Day Eve and hiding Lincolns and Washingtons for the next four years…maybe.

Is Frying Pan Violence On The Rise?

There have been lots of headlines recently about the out-of-control violence and unrest in many of our country’s major metropolitan areas. Shootings in Chicago and NYC, as well as other big cities, have reached levels compared to the wild west or Middle East war zones.

And of course the mainstream media always describes such madness and mayhem as ‘gun violence’.

But the phrase ‘gun violence’ is a bit of a misnomer in my opinion. Guns don’t commit acts of violence.

Guns just sit there as good inanimate objects should, doing nothing at all. Until a person picks one up and does something with it.

So ‘person violence’ is the term you’re looking if want to describe a shooting. Because a shooting requires a deliberate act of conscious will; taking up a gun, loading it, aiming it, pulling the trigger etc.

And a person is the only entity capable of doing all of that in order to hurt or kill others.

So it’s ‘person violence’, not ‘gun violence’.

‘Gun violence’ is a term used in a not-so-clever political attempt to transfer blame for violence onto a particular inanimate object in order to make folks afraid of the object rather than outraged at the jerks committing violence with that object.

How often do you hear media reports of ‘knife violence’? Lead pipe violence? Louisville Slugger violence?

Nunchuck violence? Pool cue violence? Whip violence?

Or my favorite; frying pan violence?

Bill Knows Best

Outgoing Great Falls City Commissioner Bill Bronson had a few things to say in the Tribune today, and wouldn’t you know it … he intoned that he just might be smarter than the rest of us.

Your private property rights … who needs ’em?!

Certainly not Bill Bronson.

And who knows better than Bronson how free you should be?

Certainly not you.

Friday Funny

Ahhh, here’s another submission from our local anonymous cartoonist.

Have a great weekend, fine readers, and remember to keep your sense of humor.

Some Cartoon Comic Relief – Tryon & Houck



This cartoon was forwarded to E-City Beat anonymously. The obscenity notwithstanding, I think it’s quite funny and decided to publish it.

Consider it an introduction to a new regular feature we are launching – Comedy & Satire On E-City Beat.

If you are a budding cartoonist or satirist, send us your stuff. We prefer material with a local theme, like this one lampooning the winners from the recent Great Falls city commission election, Rick Tryon and Tracy Houck, but will also consider publishing humor touching on broader issues.



Thanksmasoween Or Hallowthanksmas?



There’s an idea floating around about the possibility of combining holidays or making one universal holiday.

The latter has something to do with the notion that it’s unfair that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ but not Buddha, Mohammed, Mother Gaia, the Universe, the Great Spirit, Satan, some goats, rocks and trees, tacos, or the 100,000 other ‘deities’ worshiped at one time or another by one group or another.

But if this time of year became just one universal holiday to include all of the above, the atheists and secular humanists would feel left out because it would still look like a ‘religious’ holiday. And what would we call it? Coincidencemas, Bigbangtide, or Indifferent-meaningless-empty-vacuummas? I don’t think it would work. What would the greeting cards say?

So, the better idea would be to combine the already-existing seasonal holidays into one, just get ’em all out of the way in one swell foop. We could call it either Thanksmasoween or Hallowthanksmas.

The celebration for Hallowthanksmas (the name I prefer) would consist of kids dressed up like turkeys or Pilgrims loudly singing “Silent Night” while going house to house with their parents begging neighbors and strangers alike for mash potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie.

To top off the evening the whole family would gather around a beautiful skeleton with a star on stop, drink some apple cider in reindeer shaped mugs, then decorate the skeleton with bright orange garland and pieces of grandma’s fruitcake.

Then everyone would watch 12 straight hours of football before snuggling into bed, anxiously waiting for the Great Pumpkin to come down the chimney with presents for all. Does that sound fun or what? Plus, it saves time and reduces holiday stress!

Now we need to work on ideas for combining New Years, Valentines Day and the Fourth of July into one stress-reducing holiday. I don’t know…maybe start a traditional celebration of drinking too much and throwing firecrackers at your sweetheart?