Marching St. Evers’s Day

“And on this, the bicentennial of Marching St. Evers’s Day, we shall all gratefully lose our footwear as we plod through our town’s humble main drag in accordance with the man whose name graces the gates at the original northern and southern boundaries of what we now know as Everston, ‘The Friendliest Town in the World!’ according to Volume 47, Issue 3 of Weekly People Quarterly.

“To get a sense of this hallowed day’s magnitude, if natural mud has not populated the grounds prior to the event, we shall have some ready-made for the occasion, so as to harken back to the infamous time that old St. Evers himself trekked from the north to the south end of town in desperate need of a pub open in the wee small hours of that particular horrid winter morn. In the midst of all the squelching, his boots slipped clean off and sunk into the good country clay, but he was not deterred, nay! He continued along his harrowing haunt, on a mission to wet his whistle before dawn cracked and the drones began their scurrying for another day, reminding him once again of our puny species’ fleeting existence.

“So as the story goes, Old St. Evers (known simply as Tony Evers back then) happened upon a house at the very southernmost point of town, which–at the time–was yet comprised of simple farmhouses sparsely scattered few and far between. He was just one more setback away from packing it in for the night, about to abandon hope for a watering hole that could quench his very soul. He beseeched the landlord to spot him with a wee drink, letting him in on the gory details of his arduous trudge, expecting a sympathetic ear. The landlord would have none of it, promptly kicking the inebriated Mr. Evers back into the road, “ya lousy old souse!” Our hero tripped and fell backwards into the damnable mud, made worse and worse as the morning haymakers began their bustling to and fro, whipping up a froth that slowly but surely engulfed the poor man.

“All these years later, St. Evers’s remains have never been recovered (though that doesn’t stop enthusiasts from continuing to try). Some folks claim the tale is a complete hoax, and the townsfolk were just coming up with new kinds of drinking holidays to pass the brutal Winters. Regardless of whether or not this unfortunate soul lived and died in our beloved little town, we all still take the time once a year to celebrate his story.”

“Gee Dad, that’s a cool story and all, but why do we have to camp out here so early?”

“Son, there aren’t many times in life when you can be a witness to the history that shaped your town and very way of life. Trust me, one day you’ll be telling your kids about how you got a front row seat with your dad, how you learned not to abandon your fellow man when he asks for a wee nip of the house brandy.”

“I have to pee.”

“Just soil your britches, son. I’m not giving up this spot on account of your wee bladder.”

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