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Bye, Bye Rain 

On Bloomsday and royal weddings.

click to enlarge art16458.jpg

This is how bad it is: I’m rooting for it to rain on the royal wedding. Early in the week, the prediction was a 70 percent chance of showers on Kate’s sure-to-be-impeccable train of woven fairy wings.

Why does that make me smile? I know it’s wrong. I’m not proud of it. But if I have to suffer through this miserable weather, then the future king should, too. Misery loves company.

There’s something weird going on, isn’t there? Half of Texas is on fire, as they suffered through their driest March ever. And here we’re in the middle of our wettest spring. Did I mention William and Kate are getting married? Tally-ho!

If they could have waited a few days until the month of May, they’d have been fine. After all, May is when the weather gets good — right? At least that’s what Don Kardong says — why else would he have made Bloomsday on the first Sunday of May? For the weather, that’s why — it’s guaranteed perfect!

And the weather is just one of the things I love most about Bloomsday. Another cool thing about it is that it started in 1977 — an oddly awesome year. I was 12 years old and remember seeing all those hippies out “jogging” around the South Hill while I played with my pet rock.

There were more crazy things about 1977. To begin with, Jimmy Carter was president. (Who saw that coming?) Star Wars opened a few weeks after that first Bloomsday and has basically been running ever since. Music was in a kind of cataclysm, with disco going mainstream (Saturday Night Fever opened in ’77), punk rock erupting in England, Elvis dying in Memphis, and something called the B-52s debuting at a house party in Georgia.

Bloomsday is always about music and what songs get people the most pumped up. Thanks to years of scientific research, we know the top two are Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” and Earth Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy.”

I also love how Bloomsday is one of those crazy ideas somebody has that goes huge. The short version: A skinny, young Don Kardong happens to get in an elevator with Spokane Mayor Dave Rodgers, tells him his crazy idea for all those “joggers,” and now, 35 years later, a group the size of Walla Walla will line up to race on Sunday. Never, ever discount the Great American Nutty Idea — they’re usually the best ones.

So, to sum up: If Will and Kate had gotten married here, on Bloomsday morning — then they’d have perfect weather. Don Kardong says so, and he would know.

Ted S. McGregor Jr. is the Editor and Publisher of The Inlander.

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