A landmark in Ocean City, Maryland is Fager's Restaurant & Bar. Every evening, tradition calls for bayview sunsets to be accompanied by Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture piped over the sound system, while patrons relax, discussing their events of the day.
Until Hurricane Sandy tracked its way up the coast in October of 2012, Fager's had a large gazebo at the end of their pier. This gazebo, years ago, sported a fake deer with antlers on its rooftop accompanied by an American flag. The deer was replaced at some point with an angel with raised arms -- the flag remained a constant.
Fager's staff had the Overture timed perfectly when the sun touched the antlers to start the music. The timing allowed for the final notes of the Overture to coincide with the sun disappearing below the horizon. This sunset celebration was a moving moment enjoyed by many -- the final minute of the "Overture experience" can be seen in the video below (post-Sandy).
The setting . . . slight sunburn on the nose, accompanying best friend, icy cold adult beverages, sand, wind, thundering cymbal crashes and a casual beach bar crowd . . . all fueled the appreciation for this sunset memorial. As the final note sounded and the sun disappeared, there was always thunderous applause and cheers as the birth of the evening began.
Recently, photojournalist friend, Judy Brodland, captured a sunset in Iowa that rocketed us right back on that bayside patio on the Maryland shore with friends in a single blink of an eye.
One second: Iowa farmland, dusty earth smell, buck and doe in a cornfield, silence.
The next second: Maryland shore bayside bar, saltwater breezes, blue crab, thundering drums and unmistakable dialects.
These days, it is reassuring to experience a moment from some 28 years past (given all the stresses through time) proving there ARE STILL cubbyholes of memory left -- released in a single hyper-second -- bringing us surprising, simple joy of days and fiery deer-antler-sunsets gone by.