Cinco De Mayo
When I was thinking about a message for this month, I was somewhat troubled. Some months have strong identities. For example, who doesn’t think of June moons and June brides? But, what the heck does May have going for it? As I contemplated this quandary, I remembered that that, in Southern California at least, May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – is a pretty big deal. Even people named O’Leary and Johansson celebrate it. So, that’s something special about May. Then, I remembered the Maypole. Not everyone will recall this colorful ritual, but it actually dates back many centuries, and in the U.S. was often observed at elementary schools, where children would dance around a tall pole festooned with long ribbons, weaving themselves in and out in complex patterns. It was a lively and fun activity, and it owed its origins to May, in ancient times considered the first day of summer, marking the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and frequently enjoyed with popular and…um…raucous celebrations! The Brits especially loved May and Alfred Lord Tennyson actually commemorated the May Queen in one of his early poems. In 20th century America, this sort of frippery spawned a once-popular sarcastic put-down, “She thinks she’s the ‘Queen of the May!’.”
May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In their communities in the United States, May Baskets were made. These baskets were small and usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone’s doorstep. The basket giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.
In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day, and observed as a general tribute to the indigenous culture. Everyone gathers at the beach to sip Mai Tais, dance the hula and listen to Don Ho Records. Not a bad way to ring in a month!
Perhaps the most famous and widely recognizable use of May Day is as the international signal of distress. A ship at sea or a plane in the air that radios a “Mayday” is asking for help. The accepted origin of this term is the French expression, “M’aidez!” or “Help me!” Of course, in these turbulent economic times, that’s exactly what most prospective sellers are thinking, and many are saying out loud, even in our premium residential real estate markets here in Beverly Hills and on the Westside. “Help me achieve a successful transaction in the face of daunting economic conditions.”
As an experienced and dedicated real estate professional, that’s what I promise to do. If you are ready to list your special property; or if your current listing has expired or is about to expire, call me today, or just drop by my offices here in Beverly Hills. I’ve built a reputation on success, honesty, dedication and personal service. I want to be your trusted real estate professional. “May” I???