Dad’s 196

jon krakauer said, “I’m intrigued by fanatics – people who are seduced by the promise, or the illusion, of the absolute.”  write about fans.

Sundays in Darlington meant Mass at 7 with my father, breakfast at 9 with the entire family, dinner at 4, and the reading of the Sunday paper at 7 in the evening.  However, the time between breakfast and dinner was the hallowest part of the day and was set aside for the affirming of everything for which rural Wisconsin stood:  It was the time for bearing witness, for drawing together, for drinking from the common pond–it was when we watched the Packer game.

If there was a living room in Darlington on which the Packers game was not playing between 1 and 4 on Sunday afternoon, it was in the home of a transient–a teacher in town for a year, hired in an emergency by the school board ; or an aunt visiting her sister from out of state who only once said she didn’t know what the fuss was about; or a member of that recalcitrant breed of which every town has a few who keep their window blinds down and never open the door to greet the mail carrier.  

But aside from those outliers, the town’s televisions drew us to them as if they possessed a sci-fi tractor beam; and  if there had been a second coming of Christ  on a Sunday afternoon, the divine presence  would have had to drag a chair in from the dining room and wait until at least half time to deliver whatever message of salvation he had brought.

We were that kind of fans.



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