This is a most meaningful weekend in religious and cultural terms. Hanukkah begins this evening, ending the evening of Jan. 1. Christmas, of course, is Sunday. And Monday is the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, an African-American and Pan-African celebration, which also ends on Jan. 1.
Across races, religions and or cultures, this weekend provides an opportunity to come together as a difficult year draws to a close.
Anyone who has traveled to Maine understands its occasionally eccentric delights: the rocky coast, affordable lobster, the ability to wear your pagan doodads in your driver’s license picture.
The good people of Maine, through their secretary of state, have allowed Phelan Moonsong to wear his goat horns – yes, they’re really the horns of a goat – in the photo for his driver’s license. The license he’ll have to show cops if he’s ever stopped. While he’s wearing his horns.
The state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles at first denied Moonsong’s request. Undeterred, he appealed to the secretary of state, explaining that he is a “Priest of Pan” and considers the horns to be his “spiritual antenna.”
Let us pray.
Marley was gone, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story we are going to relate.
Marley is a dog. Specifically, he is a Yorkshire terrier who was stolen in October from the Kuhl family of North Umberland Avenue in Buffalo.
City police, who no doubt have many more important matters to pursue than a pilfered pet, nonetheless pursued the case and, on Tuesday, an officer answering a domestic complaint thought he recognized old Marley. Because Marley was gone.
Officer Allysa Taborn, working with her field training officer Kevin Kindzierski, arranged for Carla Kuhl to be brought to the house on Poultney Avenue. And that’s how Marley, who instantly recognized his person, was found, bringing Christmas cheer to a family that had lost a member.
To which we can only say, God bless us every one, including mean-spirited dognappers. Here’s hoping the visit from Buffalo police has the same effect as three nighttime spirits once did.
And, to all, a good night.