The Dawning Of A New Age?
Who would have thought that the Age of Obama, while still
in need of a moniker to rival the Camelot of Kennedy’s
time, would get its start right here in the Onteora school
district. And yet that’s the thought many seemed to
take away proudly from the recent Middle East night put on
by Tamara Lang and the Phoenicia Elementary PTA… a fun
evening for kids and grown ups that would have been unheard
of seven, let alone one year ago.
The school’s auditorium/cafeteria was remade as a casbah,
with rugs and tapestries and mood lighting. Where the lunch
line usually was were a fascinating blend of foods, from grape
leaves, couscous and hummus to baklava and mint tea. And the
entertainment, including a belly dancer with snake, was truly
Sure, not everyone in the district came and there were entire
demographics left absent. But not through any fault of the
event’s organizers. Or the kids themselves, who not
only learned a lot from the event, but had great fun, one
What was fresh and new was the spirit of interested involvement
from all in attendance. The fact that families had come out
from the entire school district to share in the fun, and learn
about other cultures.
The ideal of our country as a vast melting pot with open arms
and minds was once again on display… proudly.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, settling between
weeks of the right’s attempts to cast doubts on our
new president’s attempts to wrestle forth new ways of
dealing with old problems that had spent too long mounting
to their own crisis, and that same president’s recent
successful tour of Europe, and upcoming visits to Asia, where
we have started reshaping America’s role in an utterly
As well as just before our own state’s release of a
final budget that, far from all the doom and gloom talk of
recent weeks — with state property tax freezes and major
cuts to education and health – ended up solving its
problems by raising taxes on the state’s very rich.
Life is shifting, folks. Our needs as a national society,
as well as part of a greater world community, have shifted.
Opposition for opposition’s sake doesn’t make
as much sense, right now, as the search for better means of
getting along. Forget “with us or against us.”
We are all, in the final rounds, together in more ways than
The recent evening at the Phoenicia School demonstrated this
in tangible ways, from the numbers of new and old residents
it brought out to share the fun from all ends of our wide
school district to the manner in which district school officials
joined in the fun, dancing to the beat of the evening’s
Why always focus on the worst that can befall us when we can
still move our hearts and souls by coming together. What a
perfect way to entertain the coming of Spring, as well as
what we and many others are hoping is a true new age.
As well as to take a break from the typically cranky politics
of the mud season, and get us all ready for the Onteora budget
and board voting ahead, as well as local elections come the
We deserve all the good we can gather…