Chan Shake Snapshot Plus
By ice rivers
There's a great line in the Grateful Dead's United States Blues. "Shake the hand that shook the hand of PT Barnum and Charley Chan." Now if you shook that hand, then anytime anybody shook your hand they would also be shaking the hand of Charley Chan.
That's a Chan shake.
We're all in one big fraternity without the gender restriction and the secrret handshake. The unifying, not so secret handshake is our humanity. When we literally do shake hands, we emphasize the familial nature of our humanity and we pass it on. We drop our weapons.We've all got powerful Chan shakes to pass on to one another. Here's a very brief snapshot of what you get when you shake my hand.
I shook hands with Jim Irwin, a man who walked on the moon.
I shook hands with Norman Baker who navigated the papyrus raft the Ra across the Atlantic from Africa to South America.
I took part in Hands Across America. I was standing at the very begininng of the East Coast line in Battery Park looking directly at the Twin Towers.
On my way home, a couple of days later, I happened to run into a woman who had been at the end of the line in California. Naturally, we shook hands which linked the line in the East with the line in the West; a cross country handshake.
So that covers the United States from shore to shore and extends to South America to Africa and then flies us all to the moon.
Not a bad distance.
To fill in some other blanks, I shook hands with Muhammad Ali. Imagine all the hands that have shaken Ali's hand and all of the hands that have shaken the hands that Ali's hand. Lot's of people starting with uh, pick two, Malcom X and the Beatles.
Let's call our individual articulated collective handshakes our Chan Shakes. Chan shake with me and you get all of the above.
Before leaving the Chan Shake, let's momentarily go in another direction. Let's call it Face in the Crowd.
Thousands of people saw Buddy Holland and Bobby Darin perform live.
Thousands of people saw Elvis perform live twice.
Thousands of people saw George Harrison perfom live.
Thousands of people saw Dylan and the Band on their Planet Waves tour.
Thousand saw the Dead on their Wake of the Flood tour.
Thousands saw Secretariat win the Triple Crown at Belmont.
Thousands saw the Mets clinch the National League Pennant at Wrigley Field in 73.
Thousands saw Affirmed win the Triple Crown at Belmont.
Thousands saw Seattle Slew win the Triple Crown at Belmont.
Thousands saw Foolish Pleasure win the Run for the Roses under the Twin Spires.
Thousands saw the match race between Foolish Pleasure and the mighty Ruffian which ended in tragedy at Belmont Park.
Thousands have seen World Series games between the Yankees and the Dodgers at the old Yankee Stadium.
Thousands of people saw Joe Frazier fight Muhammad Ali at Madison Sqaure Garden,
Thousands have visited the Field of Dreams in Iowa.
Thousands have been on the front page of the New York Times.
Thousands have been on Entertainment tonight.
Thousands of folks have given commencement addresses at a high school graduation.
We're probably gettng close to a million here.
That's a lot of people.
How many people have done all of the above.
I'm guessing one. That would be me.
Whereas the Chan Shake is an exercise in universality, this one is an exercise in uniqueness. We're all unique and we're all faces in the crowd.
Let's shake on it, while we still have time.