04 July 2012

4 July Memories

I have an author post and a story recommendation post nearly ready. Instead of working on either of those I want to write and share my 4 July memories. This is not being preread, all mistakes are mine. Please let me know and I will update with corrections. 

My father was stationed at Scott AFB, Illinois when I was in kindergarten through second grade. We lived in a small town close by. There was a park with a log cabin community center between where we lived and the school. That was where the town celebrated the summer holidays. We had a parade for 4 July - decorated cars, little red wagons, baby prams, bicycles, what ever else came to mind. There was a military unit from the base and boy scouts. Seems about half the population was in the parade while the rest watched.
I got roped into being in the parade one year. A neighbor girl and I decorated a pram. We tried to dress up a pet - I can't remember if it was a dog or a cat - and have it in the pram. The pet was not going along with it at all. So being younger and smaller of the two of us, I was the "lucky one" to get costumed as a baby all in red/white/blue outfit. I was not thrilled at this at all either, just couldn't move as fast and slippery as the pets could to get away. At least I was pushed along the parade route rather than walking and pushing the pram. We had a change of clothes for me at the end of parade, so I wasn't embarrassed walking around as a baby. 

As a family we would have a BBQ and make ice cream - usually blueberry or strawberry flavoured. I'd help hand crank it even as a child, just not for very long. I'd sneak some rock salt and suck on it. We did this every year until I went away to college. 

I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB for 4 July 1976. The closest city was small city / large town size. Very community minded with celebrations. There were fireworks planned for the HS stadium. There is a big problem with Northern California coastal areas - fog. It does help keep us cooler in summer, but can make lousy viewing of fireworks. And that 4 July we were very well covered with fog. It was still fun, just hanging out with friends from Church, eating too much, watch what we could of fireworks. 

While growing up I don't remember doing much in way of family fireworks, just the sparklers. Those were fun and colourful. We'd hold on to them and wave them all around - being very careful to keep good distance between us.

Currently at Church we have a flag raising and pancake breakfast for 4 July. Nice company, but the pancakes are always cold by time get to eat. The bacon and sausage are warm. It is the brethren that do the cooking for this. Kind of fun watching them in the kitchen and grill. We have had competitions of table decorations. The children sometimes have a parade of decorated bikes, wagons. It is a neat way to start the day.

There is a regional science fiction convention - WesterCon - around 4 July holiday. I've gone a few times - Phoenix, Mesa, Las Vegas and the local ones. Fun watching the local fireworks with bunches of people. I would see relatives when went to Phoenix and Mesa. 

Those are my personal memories of 4 July celebrations. I invite you to share some memories in the comments. I hope everyone has had a safe, fun and enjoyable 4 July 2012. Take care. aw

1 comment:

  1. I remember a cruise we were on 11 years ago... 4 cruise liners were in port and the town was smaller than a single ship. The locals- children and adults decorated their bikes and wagons and stuff and did a parade around down town (1 square block) at 10 am and again at 4 pm. It was fun to see the bikes, cars and little "floats" (wagons) around town between the parades.

    I also enjoyed spending July 4 in Brush CO with my sister a couple of times. They have a breakfast, a parade, a library sale, a quilt show, a ice cream sundae social, a rodeo, and then last but not least the fireworks after the rodeo. We were tired and we were adults!

    Thanks for sharing your memories I hope you don't mind me sharing mine.
    Happy Independence day!