i am something of a fixture at first night burlington. when you go out for new ear's eve you maybe don't have to think about what you will say to reporters or just strangers who stop you to talk.
and maybe i should tell you that it isn't really me who's famous; it is my hat and scarf.
the scarf particularly. for new year's eve every year i wear black clothes, a charcoal grey tweed greatcoat, a top hat decorated with star garland, and THE SCARF.
the scarf has on it every first night button from first night burlington, ever. this year that's thirty-one.
they told us (i have not verified this) that first night burlington is the longest continuously running first night in the nation, which means that at some point first night boston had to have gone on hiatus.
when you wear every first night button on your scarf, people stop to take pictures with you. reporters photograph and interview you. children stare. strangers come right up and talk to you.
tuesday night the driver of the bus i was on gave me a package of homemade candies. i was walking through a parking lot and i heard a security guard shout "she's here!" and i looked around to see who was here, and then i realized that she had been looking for me.
or rather, my scarf.
but you know, there's something special about a collection of all of the first night buttons that adds to the general festivity. burlington is a beautiful city, and it's a small city, so a first night celebration pretty much takes over the whole downtown.
it is a beautiful celebration, and i think what my scarf is saying is "i am happy to be here. i am proud to tell you that i come every year. and i'm happy to see you here, too. let's meet again next year."