Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grey Cup Traditions

MV5BMTkzNjk5ODA2NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY1NTIyMQ@@__V1__SY317_Saturday night we caught the last half of America America, a 1963 black and white movie directed by Elia Kazan. The cinematography  really made this movie, they made full benefit of the black and white medium using lighting to it's best effect. I wished we had seen it from the beginning. Then we watched Dodsworth, a film where two people end up divorced. Not much action, but an enjoyable watch. Good line from the movie "Love has to stop something short of suicide".  I love TCM (Turner Classic Movie channel).  Next week they are showing Dr. Zhivago - we'll have to make sure to pvr that one.

logoToday is Grey Cup Sunday. Growing up, our family wasn't particularly sporty, in fact I don't recall seeing my dad watch any sports. But on Grey Cup Sunday, out would come chips, cheezies, pickles and olives, cheese and crackers and all manner of nibbling type food. We'd all gather around the TV and cheer for our favourite team - usually whichever team was from the west. We'd self-consciously holler when our team made a touch down - we weren't used to making such obvious displays and felt sheepish after doing so. I didn't understand the game but it was fun to watch anyway.

Many years the game seemed to get it's name from the dreary November skies, it was a rare year when the sun was shining. In fact it wasn't unusual for a game to be played with snow on the ground. We Canadians are a hardy bunch! In contrast, I remember one year that I was outside planting bulbs, wearing just a t-shirt, no sweater required. The sky was still grey though.

box1_col2_21The year that stands out most in my mind is the 1973 game. The Friday before I was just leaving for school and my cat Puff ran from across the street to see me. What she didn't see though was the car speeding down the road. She didn't make it. Right before my eyes. I can still hear the thump. I can see her flailing legs as she died. It was the worst few minutes of my life. My mom was right there and grabbed me before I could run out to the street and a neighbour ran over to help. I don't remember how they got her off the street, or even what was done with her body. I didn't leave the house that day nor the next, but on the Grey Cup Sunday I had to walk several blocks over to Scanlon's house to feed their cat and walk their dog Rusty. I didn't want to do it and couldn't think how I even could but that action got me back into the land of the living. It didn't stop me from crying for weeks after but at least I was past the worst of my grief and shock. I was just 11 years old so maybe that's why the event left such a mark on my memory, but to this day I can't talk about it without a tightening in my  chest and a pricking in my eyes.

I seem to remember that Mom really made an event of Grey Cup that year, I don't know who was playing or who won, but I do remember my grief and also the warmth that comes from having a loving family on a day that I especially needed one.

So this year? We'll watch (some) of the game and we've treated ourselves to a bag of cheezies. A far cry from some year's feasts but at least we won't have a tummy ache at the end of it!