Where, you might ask, could a person find a little peace and quiet on Black Friday?
Certainly not in those lines of belligerent door busters, or getting a sneak preview of eternal hell circling a retail store parking lot.
There were some quiet corners of the city, where one could hear almost nothing. Finding them wasn’t quite so easy.
In fact, rushing from place to place in search of the sound of silence amid the avalanche of holiday shoppers can actually frazzle and frustrate.
At St. Mary’s Cathedral downtown, the website schedule advertised a 7 a.m. Mass. But doors were locked by 7:45 a.m. Was everyone already at Wal-mart?
Up the street at Yoga Journeys, there is usually a Kripalu Yoga class early on Fridays. That sounded wonderfully meditative. But, there, too, the doors were locked. Were the yoginis were doing downward facing dogs in the mall?
It was another story at St. Paul Catholic Church where The Very Rev. Bob Jaeger, officiated at an 8 a.m. mass for about two dozen parishioners.
Candles flickered. The sun drifting through stained glass windows cast rainbows on the wall behind the altar. It was so quiet, one could here the monsignor’s vestments rustling as he raised his arms to grant peace.
As he released the flock, Jaeger said, “Have a great Black Friday, and if you go shopping, good luck.”
Outside, Helene Agbo, said she rather pray than shop, because she had heard the world was going to end Dec. 31. She was kidding, maybe. But she said the morning prayers were much calmer than what she did last year, which was shop with friends. She learned her lesson though. “You can get those deals any time.”
By the way, Mosignor Jaeger intended to finish writing his Christmas cards Friday because the rest of the season will not be so quiet and peaceful.
Later there were a few people at the coffee counter at a Safeway on South Nevada — it was nearly empty and pretty silent, if you didn’t count the Musak. Linda Fullen and her mom visiting from Kansas perused the flower section looking at decorative sheaves of wheat and getting some items for their turkey dinner Saturday.
A couple of aisles over Connie Kelly shopped for chestnuts and apples for the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Dec. 8 dinner. This is the only shopping she does on Black Friday. She did it on the day after Thanksgiving last year too, because, you guessed it, “It’s nice and quiet here.”
Not as quiet, as it was at Evergreen Cemetery where it was deader than a doornail. But if your are a purist, be cautioned that one can hear the traffic from Hancock Parkway.
Someone had wrapped a gold tinsel garland around one of the towering old trees near the graves of Marion and Emma Martin who had died in 1918 and 1919 respectively. The only visitor was a squirrel.
The genealogy section of the Penrose Library was one of the quietest places to be Friday.
Two refugees from Black Friday were there poised over computers. Terry Albins was looking for details about a distant relative, Joel Estes, for whom Estes Park is named. Albins said there was no way he would go shopping on Black Friday. “Christmas is too commercial,” he said, heading off to copy a page.
A few yards away Tim Hewitt was doing research for a friend. He too, was here because, “I don’t like crowds.”
Librarian Jody Jones, said the genealogy department is often crowded Thanksgiving weekend because out-of-state relatives like to look up family records.
“I guess they are in line somewhere buying iPads.”