Newburyport Daily News
---- — “So,” I said to Big Freddy after he had settled himself into his side of the booth, “How did Thanksgiving go for you?”
“Thankfully “ he said.
“Naturally,” I said, “but how so?”
“I didn’t overdo, for one thing,”Freddy said. “No indigestion.”
“And for other things?’’ I asked.
“Ah, how to count the ways,” Freddy said.
“Try,’’ I said.
“The weather for one,” Freddy said.
“Good start,” I said. “Not a cloud in the sky. I took a long walk.”
“I got as far as a park bench and watched people taking long walks,” Freddy said.
“Peace on earth,’’ I said.
“Take it where you find it and enjoy — there’s not much of it, ‘‘ Freddy said.
“The Israelis and Palestinians stopped firing rockets at each other, for one,” I said.
“For a breather,’’ Freddy said. “Israelis show off their anti-missiles and hit the Palestinians hard.
“But it’s the Palestinians that do the celebrating because they found a way to come together. That’s big because it’s more than they ever have had and Egypt’s taking a new look at what’s in play. Case not closed yet, but ground gained.”
“Well, so much for that,’’ I said. “I take it you watched the Pats closing the case with the Jets down in the Meadowlands. All they had to do was show up and let the Jets shoot themselves in their nearest vital parts.”
“Which no coach can survive,” Freddy said.
“First quarter, no scoring by the Pats. First time this year, and it looks like better than okay for the Jets.
“Second quarter, the roof falls in on the Jets and they go off the field at half time shell shocked, and it’s not only the score that has the fans giving up on them and going home. It’s how they fell all over themselves playing give away. Hollywood couldn’t have made a better comedy, but no one was laughing at this one but the Pats.”
“I don’t need the play by play — I watched it too,’’ I said. “But I also watched what was going down between Israel and the Palestinians because that doesn’t have to be forever either.
“I gave that some time when I came back from my walk because our families wouldn’t be gathering until mid-afternoon. The Palestinians had taken the big hits but were celebrating the cease fire big-time for what they’d accomplished by coming together.
“The Israelis had lost far less and had stopped he Palestinians cold, but they had their fingers crossed on hold, and weren’t celebrating because of what might follow in what could be the equivalent of a second half.”
“Neither were the Pats at half time, but they were breathing easier,” Freddy said.
“We’re straining the metaphor, but I take your meaning,” I said.
“This is no seasonal game being played out over there. It’s for survival. It’s been going on for centuries in one way or another, and what’s going on now is only a time out. What’s needed is mutual acceptance of the need for change.”
“We should live so long,” Freddy said.
“In our share of the world we did, step by step, and that’s what we’ve been giving thanks for,” I said.
Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and a staff columnist.