From the desk of Dora DePaoli: Not-so-merry month of May

June 01, 2001

Lyrics from the "Camelot" soundtrack includes the lively tune "The Merry, Merry Month of May." May isn't that merry to me.

When May arrives the heat of summer is starting to set in and it feels so oppressive. Our beautiful blue skies are often a dull gray with the humidity and wheat fields being burned. Drivers, especially those in cars without air conditioning, drive as fast as they can to get to their destinations. Even the birds are getting testy. While on a walk in town, minding my own business, a bird swooped low and made a deposit on my white shirt.

May seems to have more things happening than any other month and people are more uncomfortable doing them. Retirement parties often take place in May and civic organizations try to squeeze in final soirees before the blackout months of July and August.

In May some brave people still have evening outdoor activities and battle flies the whole time. When the sun goes down the flies disappear. It is a mystery to me. No one seems to know where they go. Perhaps they are afraid of the mosquitoes who take over after dark.


My son Steve has a May birthday, and it always falls on Memorial Day weekend. This year, as in other years, he went on a long bike ride corresponding to his age. He took off into the wind for his 45-mile ride to Calexico and its environs. He figured to ride into the wind for the first part of his ride and have the wind at his back on his return trip. It didn't quite work out that way. The wind stopped blowing when he got to Calexico.

Along the way he saw a "monster" lizard with a gopher in its mouth, three dead snakes, one jeweler's Phillips screwdriver, some links of chain and lots of doves. Unlike his trips to the Northend in other years, he didn't see any dead pheasants. He found a rubber seal from an irrigation pipe. The seal brought back memories of when he had a summer job nearly 30 years ago putting together sprinkler pipes for Magco.

Drivers gave him a lot of room on this ride and many waved. He was chased by just two dogs. After some liquid refreshments and a swim he was as good as new. Taking a couple of aspirin before his ride probably didn't hurt.

Colleges have commencement exercises in May. Those in charge of these activities seem to feel that more is better; more lengthy introductions, more speeches. I have never heard a single person say "the graduation ceremony was too short." Unless someone has a relative or close friend graduating, they don't attend. You hear people saying things like, "You owe me one for coming to this."

I feel really sorry for the graduates. They usually wear dark ankle-length gowns and weird hats, and they can't leave their seats to get a drink of water or stretch their legs.

This year, however, one graduation was especially notable. Although the ceremony lasted more than two long, hot, sweaty hours, daughter Gina finally earned her bachelor's degree. Hallelujah! Perhaps because she was older than the usual college graduates, and also a busy mother, she had a deep appreciation of those who attained or are working toward advanced degrees. Congratulations "Putzi" and your fellow graduates of San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus.

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