MontClairVoyant: In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Mountie Blue

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
With several moving-up ceremonies during the past few days in Montclair, sounds like a good column topic, no?

Sincerely,
Dee Plohmuzz

Um…I did that last week when writing a mock commencement speech. Probably should’ve saved that for this week, but “c’est la vie.” That’s French for “what’s an apostrophe doing after the letter ‘c’?”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
How about a variation on a theme — mentioning memorable graduations in Montclair history rather than those in 2021? With the commencement details totally fabricated by you.

Sincerely,
Pap and Gown

Okay. Our town had 43,927 residents in 1950, and 43,924 overpacked Montclair High’s amphitheater on Graduation Day. The Korean War began that same week.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That’s a ridiculous conflating of two unrelated events. And where were the three residents not in the amphitheater?

Sincerely,
Blame It on Trio

Playing frisbee in Anderson Park with a tasty blueberry pancake from Montclair Diner.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Our town this week is marking Juneteenth — the holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the U.S. — with various events. How does that relate to Montclair High’s Class of 1919?

Sincerely,
Turn of the Century

Juneteenth is on June 19; the year 1919 is comprised of two 19’s; and nineteen 1919 grads had a “19th Nervous Breakdown” when realizing they had to wait until 1980 to hear “Hey Nineteen.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Were songs by The Rolling Stones and Steely Dan really on the minds of 1919 students “crossing the bridge”?

Sincerely,
Reelin’ in the Years

Okay, okay, they were thinking of 1970’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” When they accidentally kicked some pebbles into Toney’s Brook.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
What was on the minds of the Class of 1871?

Sincerely,
The Non-Disco ’70s

With Montclair’s added restrictions on gas-powered leaf blowers 150 years in the future, they knew even then there’d be some non-compliance. So they waved rakes from horse-and-buggy windows during their 19th-century Project Graduation procession.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Who spoke at Montclair High’s 1809 commencement?

Sincerely,
A Long, Long Time Ago…

Abraham Lincoln — namesake of our town’s Lincoln Street. Abe was still a baby when addressing that crowd, but the eloquence was already there: “Four months and not one year ago, my parents brought me forth in a bottle of Log Cabin syrup…”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why didn’t an infant Edgar Allan Poe also speak at that MHS commencement?

Sincerely,
The Amphitheater Pit and the Pendulum

He was persona non grata for being destined to write “MS. Found in a Bottle” rather than “MHS Teen Wins LOTTO.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Let’s go way back to Montclair High’s 1492 commencement. Where was it held?

Sincerely,
Nina, Pinta, and Santa Claus-ia

Duh — at the corner of Christopher and Columbus. Indigenous students, and their allies, were not pleased.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
All kidding aside, moving-up ceremonies are moving, aren’t they?

Sincerely,
Exit the Joker

They sure are. I saw my daughter graduate at Woodman Field during the delayed-a-day Buzz Aldrin ceremony. Rain on June 14, tears on June 15.

 

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.