We’re Just Older Part I

This would probably be a better story done in chapters, even if they were short chapters, so this is Part I.

 I’m still trying to stay in an hour’s time frame of writing each story, but in this case each stretched it to 2, an hour for each part.

I used a Youtube video to create the ending….but hey, it’s the 21st century and perhaps this is a new form of fiction writing where you appropriate other media and create like a collage….The idea came from a post on MyOaklandNJ that said the new council swearing-in ceremony might be moved from town council chambers to the senior center – I took it from there and built on it.

We’re Just Older Part I

It was a disaster waiting to happen, change. Any change holds the potential for disaster, but even more so in Oak Town where change meant something different, and something different meant change.

People in Oak Town were not averse to change in general. It was more the logistics of change, what the change actually entailed, the devil in the details. Those who tried to promote change were championed as “agents of change” and also disparaged as simply “agents”.

The “agents of change” were those who brought forth some new ideas to help cut the budget, improve efficiency, or simply bring a new event, project or program to Oak Town. Those who were simply “agents” were always trying to change what always had been, and what some believe always would be, without concern to the logistics, without paying the devil his due in the details.

It was the beginning of the year, and the new mayor of Oak Town was being sworn in. It was event held only every four years, and it was the grandest prize in the bubble of Oak Town politics. While there were many great days in Oakland throughout the year, this was an event held only every four years.

Everyone in Oak Town said they wished they could be there, and those who did not wish to be there could watch it on their public access channel. Many people only experienced Oak Town through their public access channel and had never actually been to a town council meeting or any other public event.

Unlike public access channels in the big city that often featured naked talk shows, everyone wore clothes on the Oak Town public access channels – and everyone in Oak Town agreed that was a good idea. There were some wisenheimers in Oak Town who would comment that a little nudity might add some excitement, but most believed it would have the opposite effect.

This year Frank Birch, head of the Oak Town public access television station, was dealing with his 7th new mayor. There were some mayors who served more than one term, and it really added up to near 40 years that Frank had been operating the public access channel. But in any event, the new mayors all started looking alike after his 3rd one – it didn’t matter if it was a woman or a man, the new mayor looked pretty much like the old mayor.

The problem Frank faced this year was that the new mayor wanted to move the swearing-in from the town council chambers to the senior center. There were reasons why, and Frank had listened patiently, but he had pretty much stopped hearing what any of the mayors had been saying after his 4th new mayor.

Moving the swearing-in to the senior center meant that the swearing-in could not be broadcast live. This was a popular event, held only every four years, so those who could not go in person would watch it on TV – which was most people. It was not that people did not want to go, or were too busy to go, it was just a lot easier to watch on TV.

This year the new mayor wanted to move the swearing in to the senior center because the town council chambers were too small. People were coming over hill, over dale, and along the dusty trail to see the swearing in of Frank’s 7th new mayor, and the town council chambers might be a bit cramped.

Frank did not really believe that the crowds would be storming over the hills and through the woods, especially with the wind blowing and stinging their noses and biting their toes. He thought people would rather watch the swearing-in live on public access, he actually swore that they did. Frank did a lot of swearing, but after 7 new mayors no one really blamed him.

Having the swearing-in ceremony at the senior center rather than the town council chambers was not really a big deal, and no skin off Frank’s nose, except for the devil in the details. The new mayor wanted the ceremony recorded so that it could be shown on the Oak Town public access television station and a copy of it deposited in the Oak Town time capsule.

The town council chambers were already fitted with cameras, and only one person was needed to actually record the meeting – and that one person was often Frank Birch. Moving the ceremony to the senior center would mean finding at least two volunteers to take cameras over there, set them up, record the ceremony, and then bring the cameras back to the sound room in town hall.

Frank could go and record the ceremony himself, and that would reduce in half the number of volunteers he would need, but he was not in good health. This was his 7th new mayor, and he thought actually having to listen to the swearing-in would be too much for his stomach. One of the benefits of the sound room in the town council chambers was that it was soundproof, and Frank had not actually listened to a council meeting since his 5th new mayor.

After 6 new mayors, Frank started to think perhaps he might not want to sit through a 7th, even if he had stopped listening to them after his 4th new mayor. Perhaps it was time to hang up his hat, stop his swearing, and move on.

Frank did not really buy into the swearing in ceremony being all that or all this, or the mayor of Oak Town being the grandest prize of all. He thought it was a bunch of horse piss. People thought the prize was gold but it was bronze, and nothing much changed with each new mayor except we’re just older.

These thoughts passed through his head and reminded him of a song that made him smile, a song he liked to sing, and lyrics he could swear by.

Click here for We’re Just Older conclusion

I can’t be in love if it’s plastic,
To live on my own just seems tragic
But we’ll raise our swords high when our day comes,
You thought it was gold but it was bronze.


Get here in time when our day comes,
You thought it was gold but it was bronze.


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