As if things were not crazy enough with Mercury being retrograde (February 18through March 9), now comes mid-March and William Shakespeare’s age-old warning regarding the Ides of March on the 15. Had Julius Caesar heeded the words of a seer, he might have survived that day and perhaps lived long enough to uncover the murderous plot in the scheme that his old pal Brutus had planned. History records that as the stabbed and bloodied Caesar went down, he called out, “Et tu, Brute?” which, depending upon which historian one chooses to read, translates as “and you Brutus?” or “also you, Brutus?” or even “you as well, Brutus?”
Some historians who lived during and shortly after the assassination claimed there were no words spoken as the dying Caesar went down. Another chronicler claimed the dying leader shouted in Greek what translates to something along the lines of “you too, child?” or “you too, little one?”
Regardless of what was said or not said, we all know the outcome of the event. Shakespeare made it immortal in his play; however, there are recent discoveries that the phrase or phrases were used in earlier Elizabethan writings. Those quirky Romans did not really number their days but used names for them such as “nones” for Mondays. Ides usually fell around the 13th of each month but in March, due to some backward numerical counting, it fell on the 15th. Already celebrated in religious components, the 15th in ancient Roman times was the day to settle all debts, taxes, and owed monies. Today we could all shout “Beware of the Ides of April!” as we rush to get our taxes completed.
OK…enough history lesson. The Ides of March come every year and with it, warnings to be careful, take heed, and exercise caution in all activities on the day, or night! So the 15th just might be a good day or night to stay home and enjoy an old movie!
Mardi Gras wrap-up
Mardi Gras came and went. It was a fantastic time on the island and the LGBTQ community stepped up to the plate in participation. All the clubs had Mardi Gras parties, and community members rode on floats, danced in the streets, and made their artistic designs shine. Kudos to Clay Vinson and the Krewe of Bacchus for the organization’s beautifully designed floats and the great beads and trinkets they tossed along the route.
The community’s beloved Tony Garcia or “Mr. Mardi Gras” who passed away in August, was ever-present as the Krewe of Aquarius, of which he was a treasured member, carried along some of his ashes in a beautiful wreath enveloping a photo of a Mardi Gras bedecked Tony. Krewe members were happy to bring Tony along on the parade ride.
Another great thing happened on the first Friday of Mardi Gras. Island son and real estate guru V. J. Tramonte was recognized and honored with the George Mitchell Award for his contributions and participation in restarting and supporting Mardi Gras Galveston. Along with the beautiful plaque presented in front of the Tremont House, the dapper Italian was honored with a parade and throngs of loving friends cheering as he rode by. Over the years V.J. has been very active in Mardi Gras and has served as a past King of the elite Krewe of Momus. Everyone loves a parade and everyone loves V.J. Tramonte.
It appears that everybody had a great Mardi Gras, enjoyed the parades, bead catching and celebrating with friends and family. Fat Tuesday was a night to remember — or depending on what one did, a night to forget! Beer flowed, beads flew, and even a breast or two was exhibited.
Tuesday ended the two weeks of celebration and Wednesday came with a final curtain on the frivolous activities. Lent came and believers rushed to their places of worship and received a cross mark of ashes on their foreheads for Ash Wednesday. Lent begins forty days and nights leading to Easter Sunday when participants “die to sin” and look forward to “rebirth” on Easter. It’s a religious thing! Some “give-up” something that they like such as drinking alcohol or eating sweets and even smoking cigarettes. Few make it through the forty days, especially the ones giving-up alcohol, and you certainly don’t want to be around them come those late 30 days as they are crazed!
So as March rolls along and we anxiously await the warm and breezy days of April, Galveston Island and its beautiful inhabitants look forward to the coming spring and a super summer. Ides of March or not, after having been so beware and cautious, it just might be time to let your hair down and have some fun, Galveston style!