Monday, May 5, 2008

I'll have the Hoagie and Margarita Combo.

May 5, 2008 - On May 5, 146 years ago, in 1856 the Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Pueblo. So, on the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo) we celebrate freedom and liberty. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence which is celebrated in September. Today, Mexico will celebrate with food, music and dancing. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican culture much like St. Patricks day is for the Irish and Oktoberfest is for beer drinkers.

Three years after the Battle of Pueblo, North Bend, Ohio became the site of the first U.S train robbery. The robbers - though never identified and never captured - were thought to be Frank and Jesse James and friends. They took up the tracks and derailed an Ohio & Mississippi train that had departed from Cincinnati. Passengers were robbed, safes were blown up, and officials scratched their heads. When I was young, my mom had a Wanted Dead or Alive poster of Jesse James. I grew up listening to outlaw country music and watching spaghetti westerns. I have no Mexican ancestry to celebrate, but I have a childhood full of references to the train robbery. I'm not sure how to celebrate this one but I feel like I should. Perhaps I'll ride the Skytrain. Hmmm... Cinco de Mayo + Train Robbery Day = TexMex??

May 5 is also Melanoma Monday. This is important folks, so listen up. The sun - though it feels really nice and warm - is evil. You must wear sunscrean. "Slip. Slop. Slap. Shade." Slip in your spilled sunscreen. Slop up your margarita. Slap someone. Hide in the shade. No? However you do it, keep care of your skin. It's your largest organ, and without it, clothes are hard to wear. Naked day was yesterday, so you'll have to cover up. It is also National Chocolate Custard Day. I wonder if the sun can get through chocolate?

In Philidelphia there is an area called Hog Island. During the war, Italian immigrants who worked there would bring giant sandwiches to work stuffed with cold cuts, tomatoes, onions and more. The workers would get nicknamed Hoggies - and eventually, their sandwiches would catch on and they became known as hoagies. Maybe better known as the hero or submarine sandwich, May 5 is Hoagie Day. I wonder if today is the day Jared falls off his diet and goes for the meatball sub with extra cheese?

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