Saturday, January 25, 2014

My scarf and the Harry Potter generation

Gryffindor forever!
My Christmas reading has forced me to set aside Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the time being. Over the course of the holidays, I've been lucky enough to receive nine new books and, since it is my policy to read every book I get as a present, I've been quite busy reading lately.

That's not to say that Harry has been completely absent from my life, however. We've been experiencing some crazy cold, windy and snowy weather out here, perfect for me to show off my ultra-warm Gryffindor scarf.

My sister knit this scarf for me a couple of years ago, following a pattern that recreated the scarves from the first movie stitch for stitch. It's a spectacular garment and draws a lot of attention every time I wear it.

For example, the other day I was standing at a street corner, wearing my scarf and waiting for the light to change, when a woman approached and said, "Your inner geek is showing."

I laughed and said, "So is your inner geek, if you recognize this scarf and where it comes from!"

We had a chuckle together and then went our separate ways.

Later the same day, I had a man stop me in the lobby of my building. "That's Gryffindor, isn't it?" he said.

"Yep," I agreed.

He shook his head. "I'm Ravenclaw myself."

Even later the same day, I was coming down on the elevator and a woman asked if my scarf represented "Mount Allison University or you know," and she then whispered, "Hogwarts?"

"It's Gryffindor, all right," I told her, holding out the Gryffindor crest on the scarf.

Two other people in the elevator nodded. "I thought so," said one.

The woman, encouraged, then told me she has been online, looking up the Harry Potter theme park and really wants to go. "It looks fantastic," she whispered.

What do these encounters tell me? Well, first they tell me that, even though it's now been almost seven years since J.K. Rowling published The Deathly Hallows, the Harry Potter phenomenon is still going strong.

And second, that even though my nieces, nephews and young friends tell me that Harry Potter is no longer in fashion for young readers like themselves, there are still a lot of people of all ages who love Harry Potter anyway.

Think about it. The Philosopher's Stone was first published in 1997, now almost 17 years ago. A person who was ten years old when it first came out would be 26, going on 27 today. The Harry Potter generation are now young adults, probably with children of their own.

And those of us who were already grown up in 1997 but loved the books anyway. Well, we're heading into middle age and beyond!

Harry Potter lives. But it's not so much the kids who are keeping it alive.

My Gryffindor scarf is proof of that!