Thursday's Pioneer Press had an article about "Santa Dave," who was a long-time, seriously fanatic St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion seeker and all-around good guy. Searching for the treasure has been an "obsession" for several of my aunts, cousins and myself for decades. One of my aunts has every Winter Carnival button ever made. We have books on the parks, get the clues as soon as they come out, scout the parks endlessly and trudge through heaps of snow hoping to find the medallion. Like many other medallion seekers, some of my relatives take time off from work to search.
Aside from being a bit self-serving in publishing an article about how they, the PP, are giving one of the sacred medallions to Santa Dave's friends to place in his casket, it is a sweet gesture. The title is: For all time, he'll hold the treasure he sought. If that's the "treasure" he sought, he's only going to be able to cash that in for ten grand and I doubt St. Peter takes bribes.
Lately, every time someone is killed (a tragedy, completely) they make impromptu shrines at the site filled with flowers and cards and letters. Everyone stands around crying and carrying on, repeating over and over about how good the person was. Maybe that makes the survivors feel good, but what about the dead? What good is a medallion gonna do ya?
The point is, when someone dies, pull yourself together for their sake. Get busy. Start praying. When my father died, I told everyone to forget the flowers, don't fill the church with flowers, spend your money having masses said. Keep having masses said, keep praying. Purgatory is real and it isn't just a layover on the way to Heaven. The Poor Souls need our prayers more than they need a medallion in their pocket.
Rest in peace, Santa Dave.