National Days
by Glenda Stansbury

I wandered back to my favorite site of National Observances to see what was happening in June. June is LGBTQ Pride Month and I have my shirt ready for the Pride march in our city. This is an important opportunity to stand in solidarity. Not a political statement—just a humanity statement.

But, aside from those issues of national attention, let’s look at some of the more unknown or interesting observances.

National Accordion Awareness Month—now I’m a piano player by trade so I appreciate any keyboard related holiday. But why exactly do we need to be “aware” of accordions? Are they not getting their due among the cacophony of other instruments? Do people who play something strapped to their neck and usually relegated to polkas feel a little unloved? Don’t know. But if you see an accordion this month, please be aware.

National African-American Music Appreciation month. Since 1979, the United States has set aside the month of June to appreciate the musical contributions of its African-American musicians, composers, singers and songwriters. Inspired to celebrate an enduring art form, Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright and Dyana Williams pursued creating Black Music Month.

On June 7 of that year, President Jimmy Carter decreed June to be Black Music Month. Each year since, Americans have celebrated the iconic music loved by generations.

I think we are pretty safe in saying that none of this is played on the accordion.

National Candy Month—Really? We need a month for candy? Isn’t this kind of a year ‘round practice? But I will be happy to do my civic duty and eat more candy this month. I promise. Right in time for swim suit season.

Lots of food celebrations in June—National Iced Tea month, National Soul Food month, National Dairy month, National Papaya month, National Country Cooking month. So. I guess you go have some fried chicken and greens with a glass of tea and papaya ice cream for dessert. Thank you for your service.

National Adopt a Cat Month—I’ve had dogs and cats during my life. I’m definitely more of a dog person. These discussions can become as heated as national political party debates. But, one of my daughters has decided to embrace the entire culture, owning three dogs and three cats. Please, no one tell her that there is a month to adopt another one!

Turkey Lovers Month—this one is a tad unclear. Are we supposed to love turkeys the bird or turkey the lunch meat? Or are we supposed to love turkeys in June so we don’t feel bad about eating them in November? This is treacherous territory fraught with guilt and/or a nice sandwich with lettuce and tomato and a side of apples and cranberries.

Which leads us to National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month—see above.

National Great Outdoors Month and National Camping Month—I do love nature and being outside. I enjoy walks in parks and appreciating the huge expanse of the world that exists outside of our manufactured structures and cubicles. It is even more imperative that we pay attention to our climate and our environment and do everything possible to protect and preserve it. However, when it comes to camping, my idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel that doesn’t have a spa or room service. Not a fan of tents, bugs, campfires or outdoor toilets. So, I will respect and revere the great outdoors from the balcony of my apartment, if it’s all the same to you.

And here is my very favorite. . .Fight the Filthy Fly Month. According to the website, June 21st is St. Leufredus’ Day. St Leufredus, a monk who lived around AD 738 is the patron saint against flies. Legend says that one evening St. Leufredus stopped at a house to pass the night. The saint found the flies so troublesome that he couldn’t sleep; but when he bent his head in prayer, all the flies flew away.

I’m just going to leave that right there for a moment. I am a professional public speaker and writer and I have no words. No words.

So, I guess I’ll grab a turkey sandwich, a glass of milk, and some fruit salad and take a kitty cat to a national park with a fly swatter? While playing We are Family on the accordion, and having a Snickers. Sounds like a busy month.





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