A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July Memories

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July, 2009...
 Fireworks on the Fourth of July, 2009; Happy Birthday America!
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       When I was a child the Fourth of July was a celebration of sparklers and bottle rockets.   I'm not sure that we ever went to see a professional fireworks display--not specifically on Fourth of July at least.   My father was not much on shelling out money for home fireworks.  To him it was like burning money, an economic tradition that I carried on into my adult life.  My mother on the other hand would always buy at least a few simple fireworks.

        The Fourth was typically a stay at home time for us.  No picnics, no festivals, or anything like that.  Once our family juggled in a parade.  It was a hot ordeal walking while juggling for however far the parade route took us.  We did it because it was a paid gig and that made the experience worth it.   Otherwise I remember nothing about that parade.

         After I started working on the road with shows I almost always went to Fourth of July festivities.  After all, we were away from home and since we never worked on the Fourth going to some event in whatever town we were in was better than staying cooped up in our motel room.  And I wanted to take my kids to do fun things.   We had some good times.

        One of our more memorable Fourth of July activities was when I went to visit a cousin who was living on Bainbridge Island across the sound from Seattle, Washington.   We went out along the shore area where many folks were congregated for holiday festivities.  A friend of my cousin brought some snacks and a few bottles of locally made wine.   Once the skies darkened the shoreline became like a war zone with revelers setting off their own fireworks displays.

       Across the sound the Seattle skyline was silhouetted against the darkened skies with tiny soundless flashes of fireworks glimmering like fireflies.  As Jupiter rockets and Roman candles zoomed perilously close to us we decided to pack up and leave.  After all we had small children and the alcohol infused crowd assembled at the shore was starting to lack good judgement.  We had our good time, but the hour was late and kids needed to be put safely in their beds.

         This year's Fourth was a sedate affair with fireworks on television and lightening bugs quietly drifting on the balmy summer night.   It was a peaceful evening that was befitting of older folks gathered like my mother, sisters, and I.  There were a few verbal pyrotechnics, but mostly a settled atmosphere of family on the back patio in the Tennessee dark.  Not a particularly memorable Fourth like some in my past, but a passably good one for this time of my life.

        How did you spend your Fourth of July?   Do you usually buy fireworks?    Is there a certain holiday that is particularly memorable to you?


  1. My childhood home was adjacent to the high school atheletic field where the town staged a fireworks display, so the extended family and a lot of friends gathered at our house every July 4th.

    Always a fun day-when I moved West, people always seemed to be concerned if I would spend Christmas alone, but that never bothers me when it happens. I miss those July 4 gatherings far more.

    But the idea of going out in 110+ degree weather to watch fireworks is akin to madness.


  2. Back in WA you can buy the really good fireworks on the Indian reservations, so I used to save up for months to spend hundreds on them. This was before I had dogs of course. Never had to leave my neighbourhood in order to see an amazing show.

    I have fond memories of the July 4ths of my childhood. My hometown did a 'horribles' parade in the morning, then over to the elementary school for field day and watching the firemen's muster which was always funny. People held their yard sales so you'd just walk around town. Usually I'd go home for the afternoon then back at night for the lit boat parade on the pond and fireworks.

  3. The best part of this holiday was the fox sneaking up on us yesterday. Wish I could have had more of her barking to post!

  4. Larry-- In more recent years we've gathered with my wife's family for the 4th and had a cook-out. Never had any extended family to join us when I was a kid.

    JoJo-- Your Fourths of the past sound like traditional Americana.

    CW - A change of pace and the unexpected usually makes for some good entertainment.


  5. Growing up we always lived out in the country on whatever ranch my dad was working at, so we never went to firework displays.

    When we moved to California we would go out to the high school and watch the local ones sitting out on the football field. I'd take my kids and it was such fun and I have such great memories, I don't even remember the heat and it must have been hot.

    Now that my kids are grown I just spend the holiday grumbling at all the illegal fireworks that people in our neighborhood insist on shooting off beginning the month before the 4th. My dogs are terrified and my heart breaks for them and takes quite a bit of joy out of the holiday for me. I rather like Thanksgiving more, it's not hot and there's no fireworks!


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