Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy July 4th it is 2009...half gone, the first decade of the 21st Century is almost history. I briefly watched a news talk segment yesterday when the three talking heads, all younger than I, said that sometime during the celebration of the 4th in their memory, someone read the Declaration of Independence. Well, I was never a part of any celebration that did that and my family was not unpatriotic, I don't think.

What we did do was gather for a meal, usually outside, or in later years (post 1957) sit at the long table on our screened in porch and eat and talk. Our porch, which is still in place after 52 years as witnessed this past May, became a haven and respite to the heat of the summer. I was on the south side of the old farm house, but was shaded by two giant maple trees. I was a cool place to be.

Usually, my dad made some exclamation about living in a free country and we darn well better count our blessings. Oh yes, we hung our flag out on the front porch...not from a pole, but flat against the house. I use that display technique today. Then at dusk we moved to the front porch and watched to the northeast to catch a glimpse of the fireworks that were set off in Volant some 8-10 miles away (not a close up view by any estimate.) We "did" sparklers, burned a few "snakes" and called it a night after obliterating a dozen or so lightening bugs.

The food was usually excellent...which ended with watermelon (kept cool in the spring water of the pump house) and depending on who was around, maybe homemade ice cream.

After spending the Fourth on the beach just outside of Athens, Greece in 1964 and reading the European edition of the New York Hearld Tribune and feeling flattened by the world and missing home...I don't have many other significant memories of the mid-summer holiday. you know what I am thinking at 5:30 a.m. (PDT) on July 4, 2009. Have a good one.

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