10–9-08 Sell­ersville The­ater, Sell­ersville, PA poster by Chuck Sperry

10/9/08 Moonalice poster by Chuck SperryOcto­ber 9, 2008 Sell­ersville The­ater, Sell­ersville, Pennsylvania
Moon­al­ice poster by Chuck Sperry

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, the tribe played a lit­tle known role in sav­ing the Con­ti­nen­tal Army at Val­ley Forge in the win­ter of 1777–78. Under the com­mand of noted hemp farmer George Wash­ing­ton, the Army made camp in Val­ley Forge with hope­lessly inad­e­quate sup­plies and train­ing. As a result, 2,000 sol­diers died of dis­ease over the course of a nor­mal Penn­syl­va­nia win­ter. Yet some­how the Army emerged in the spring of 1778 as a first-rate fight­ing force. How did that hap­pen? His­tory cred­its Baron Frei­derich Wil­helm von Steuben, a Pruss­ian offer who trained the sol­diers. What his­tory doesn’t prop­erly explain is how Steuben did it. For­tu­nately, the Moon­al­ice leg­end fills in the holes in the story.

Steuben was unusual for a Euro­pean offi­cer in that he under­stood and worked directly with enlisted men. He under­stood how to moti­vate them. He eschewed tra­di­tional meth­ods, such as the cat o’ nine tails and the fir­ing squad. Instead, he used metaphor­i­cal car­rots. Actu­ally, the sub­stance under­ly­ing the metaphor was hemp. George Washington’s hemp.

To reward the troops for a job well done, Steuben ini­ti­ated a cer­e­mony that the French later named the “feu to joie.” The trans­la­tion is Fire of Joy. The French used it to refer to a parade-ground salute with hun­dreds of mus­ket shots. Steuben’s ver­sion used hemp and matches. Whose approach do you think was more effective?

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, you can’t get there from here. We rec­om­mend that you enjoy the herbal prod­ucts of your choice and then go some­where else.

Accord­ing to Moon­al­ice leg­end, Octo­ber 9 has been a date with ups and downs. Exactly 1005 years ago, Leif Ericks­son first landed in North Amer­ica. Leif was into Viking enter­tain­ment. The local Moon­al­ice tribe was open minded, but chose not to join in. So Leif had a few hits of the local herb and then went home. In 1919, the Black Sox “lost” the World Series, lead­ing to an ugly scan­dal and a pre­ma­ture end to the career of Joe Jack­son, a Moon­al­ice on his mother’s side whose refusal to use footwear pre­vented him from get­ting a Nike con­tract. The fact that he left the game in dis­grace 50 years before Nike may also have been a fac­tor. The weird­est event of all came in 1992, when a 13-kilogram frag­ment of the Peek­skill mete­orite landed in the dri­ve­way of a fam­ily named K—-, destroy­ing their 1980 Chevy Mal­ibu. It could have been worse, the meteor just missed the barn where the K—-s were cur­ing their hemp harvest.

In India, today is Vijayadashami. (Vee-jay-a-da-shami), which cel­e­brates the tri­umph of good over evil. In this coun­try, we will cel­e­brate this on Novem­ber 5.




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