Re-Rooters Day Ceremony
By Jay Critchley
Did you know that January 7th is a national holiday? Yes, the final blast off of the New Year after the “Twelve Days of Stockpiling” of the Christmas season: The International Re-Rooters Day Ceremony. The “IRS,” the International Re-Rooters Society, officiated by me, president and CEO, sponsors it.
There is some competition for the January 7th date that is a little worrisome. For instance, there’s National Play Outside Day (I think one day outside per year is plenty, but January 7th?) and the blessed birthday in 1844 of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, who famously saw an apparition of the Blessed Virgin. Perhaps I was channeling her when I appeared at the altar of the now legendary Provincetown dump 40 years ago and had a vision of re-rooting the discarded, violated Christmas trees strewn amidst the turkey bones, tinsel, and broken plastic toys. That experience was the virgin birth of this annual ritual of purgation and community.
Uprighting the Christmas trees across the garbaged landscape, I created a Forest Dump (Forrest Gump stole my idea!).
So the IRS began re-rooting lucky, repurposed Christmas trees in 1983 at various locations around town, including Commercial Street, the dunes, and my backyard. But the purging and burning in Provincetown Harbor of the tree/boat became its signature initiative. “Guide us to discarded heights” became its mantra (from the last verse of the song, “We Free Yanks” [We Three Kings]).
The “Quantitative Easing” of the banking system, Wall Street, and billionaire boondoggling inspired the 2023 theme: Grass-Fed Capitalism (def-ssarG msilatipaC).
In a raucous, freewheeling gathering of Re-Rooter adherents on a seasonal January day at Provincetown’s East End sand flats at sunset, we shared The Ten Commandments of Free-Range Insurrectionists.
Let it be known that the devils and sinners that deceive us shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the false profits are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. A(wo)men.
Jay Critchley is a longtime Provincetown multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work has been shown around the globe. He may be reached at [email protected]
Nancy Bloom is a Truro photographer renowned for her work with sailboats and regattas. She works for the Provincetown Independent.