-By Gordy Barr
Twelve billion years ago, a giant star exploded. Stuff was flung everywhere. Among the ruin of debris, a molten chunk began to cool as it spun and took on a circular shape. 1) The Earth was formed! Meadow Lark Lemon would later use this same technique to spin a basketball on his index finger when the Harlem Globetrotters played the hapless Washington Generals. 2) Some might argue that God (substitute your choice of higher being if Christianity is not to your liking) created the earth (and stocked it with interesting creatures) in seven days. Clearly a land speed record!
However, in earth’s geologic record, humanity does not even warrant a footnote. We have been here for a short time. Simply put, we are important to ourselves but as far as the universe is concerned, we don’t count for anything. I am sorry to draw your attention to this fact. Our sun is minor. We evolved from primordial slime (in a leisurely paced 2 billion years). Earth is actually a big slowpoke in the cosmic order! However, a noted physicist (3) made his life’s work the study of “God Time” as it relates to “man time”. The outcome was that a day for man was a billion years for God. So in the wake of this revelation it is Thursday in “God Time” (and the weekend is just around the corner!).
Good news. God still has two days to polish us up and finish those tricky Fjords in Norway (4). In the face of Nihilism (5) and life’s search for meaning, one question remains: do rabbits get poison ivy? Actually, that is not the question. But the answer is the islands in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.
Our islands represent all that is important about man. In geological time, Lake Erie is important and actually would qualify as a foot note (6). “All the world is not a stage” but the Western Basin of Lake Erie is about as close as it comes. It hosted a war (7), hotel fires, love, loud drunken shouting, dreams of wealth, earned wealth, inherited wealth, broken hearts, car accidents, boating accidents, airplane crashes, alcoholism, ice fishing, spiritual salvation, and, of course, wine.
Water defines Lake Erie and it defines humans. Without water, we would not exist (in our current form anyway as we are not sand particles with intellect). Geological time, the world stage, Lake Erie, The Bass Islands, the Harlem Globetrotters water bucket trick, and Sweet Georgia Brown (8) – these things define that which is human. We may become a footnote in the geologic record yet! Searching for the meaning of life is like hunting beach glass. If you don’t look for it, you will never find it. Meaning is in the water, rocks, and that gleam in your child’s eye…Faith is how the puzzle fits together.
Notes on the story:
1) The Earth, as it was called earth by many of its inhabitants, was formed around 4.56 billion years ago.
2) Over the 16,000 games played, the Washington Generals only beat the Harlem Globetrotters twice (1954 and 1958).
3) The ”God Time” physicist is not real and is a complete fabrication invented by the author to support a very thin history of Earth.
4) God broke up Pangaea because seven continents is far more interesting than one giant continent (he got bored).
5) Nihilism is the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. Sigh.
6) Humans may not be a footnote in geologic time but I believe we at least qualify as the Earth’s Harlem Globetrotters water bucket trick. The water bucket trick: Two globetrotters get into a tiff. Meadow Lark Lemon throws a tiny Dixie cup of water into “Big Easy’s” face. Big Easy responds by picking up a full water bucket and chasing Meadow Lark Lemon around the gymnasium. Big Easy corners him in the packed stands. Meadow Lark ducks as Big Easy throws the bucket of water. The crowd gasps! It turns out the bucket is filled with paper confetti (not water). Roaring laughter from the crowd!
7) The western Basin actually hosted a battle not a complete war (it took part in a war). The Battle of Lake Erie was won by Oliver Hazard Perry and the Lake Erie Fleet on September 10th, 1813. The United States also won the reenactment staged on September 2nd, 2013 by out grossing British (well, Canadians) forces by a margin of 10 to 1 in tourism dollars.
8) Sweet Georgia Brown is a jazz standard composed by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard. It was a number one hit for Bernie and his Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra.
The Put-in-Bay Gazette may or may not agree with what its columnists expound on in their writings. The goal of the Put-in-Bay Gazette is to expand wisdom from whatever mind set, warped, murky, befuddled or normal, which might be presented in hopes that its readers will have a better understanding of the Lake Erie Islands and those you live here.
As Seen in the January 2019 edition of the Put-in-Bay Gazette