In March of 1984 my hobbies were peekaboo, thumb sucking, bounce-dancing to music, and mimicking the use of everyday items like a cup or a hairbrush.1 In summary, I was a baby. But even though I was just nine months old at the time, I can still remember when President Reagan uttered these now-immortal words:
"Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby
proclaim March 6, 1984, as Frozen Food Day, and I call upon the American people to observe
such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities."
(Skeptics, please see the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library or the Library of Congress.)2
Frozen foods are part of a long list of things in American society (voting, wearing bike helmets, etc.) that, although the majority of sane people dismiss them as trivial, are a huge point of focus and pride for their small groups of devotees. However, as days of celebration like today show, frozen foods are on the up and up. You need look no further than a standard calendar for proof of this fact; Frozen Food Day comes every year, while we vote but once every four (I'm sorry, but you just cannot convince me that the little elections held in between presidential races are real).
Reagan called upon us to observe this day with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." He declined to define "appropriate," and I think that, more than anything, is Reagan's legacy. Although you just know he was brimming with ideas and suggestions for how to celebrate frozen food, this was his way of acknowledging that sometimes the best leaders lead by simply setting the stage for greatness and then letting their followers do the rest.
In the end, I decided to celebrate with a classic, elegant shrine to frozen food. I have posted a picture here to encourage others to commemorate as well. 3; Take a few moments to look at the picture as you reflect on what grocery stores would be like without frozen food sections, what your own kitchen would be like without your freezer there to complement your refrigerator, and what frozen mixed vegetables would be like if they didn't exist. Enjoy this small glimpse of personal nirvana, Ronald Reagan style.
Don't go yet!! Did you notice the footnotes in this post? Are you wondering where they lead? Are you also wondering why this post is also filed under "Behind the Scenes?" Thanks to Typepad's new "post continuation" technology and to my remembering how much I enjoyed watching "Pop up Video" back in the day, I am starting a new, occasional feature. If you click to continue reading footnoted posts, you will be taken to a continuation page featuring explanatory information that gives you a unique, "behind-the-scenes" peek at how this blog is made. Enjoy!
1.) As this sentence proves, sometimes all you need to do to come up with a great lead for a blog post is to Google the phrase "nine-month-old baby skills" and see what happens.
2.) Believe it or not, the latter link is the only search result you get when you do a Google search for "National Frozen Food" and restrict it to the .gov domain. Comparatively, you get 254 when you do the search unrestricted. I find this to be surprisingly low, because this holiday is actually recognized by the government technically. There are much less legitimate holidays that get much higher returns.
3) Please also take a minute to reflect on a mental picture of me in my dining room, trying at least nine different combinations of candle positioning and flash settings in order to achieve an amount of lighting that maximized the readability of the Healthy Choice box without losing the candlelight effect.
Well, I hope you enjoyed being behind the scenes as much as you enjoyed being in front of them. This new feature will get some good mileage this week, as some of the preparations that have gone into coordinating pieces with correspondents have been nearly as hysterical as the features themselves.