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Front Page » July 1, 2003 » Opinion » Harriet's World
Published 4,982 days ago

Harriet's World

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I love the Fourth of July. I love celebrating it. I remember celebrating a July 4 as a very little girl. At the end of World War II because of the war, fireworks were still banned in Southern California. All we had for a fireworks display was a railroad flare my Dad had acquired from somewhere. Dad had to get permission to burn that flare.

We had our family celebration during the day. When it got dark we stood in our back yard and Dad stuck the flare in the end of our homemade pipe clothesline and we watched that railroad flare burn out. I remember the red glare that it made. We beat on some pans and honked our car horns and that was our fireworks display. It got better every year from then on.

As we grew up and I had brothers and sisters and we all got married and had families, our celebrations turned into a real shindig. To us the Fourth of July was the best. We all gathered at our family home and had a barbeque. Complete with hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, soda pop, condiments, baked beans and chocolate cake for dessert.

Followed by our family baseball game. Which I might add, the neighborhood was envious of. The president of the United States had nothing on us. Our baseball games were every bit as great as the Kennedy football games. Every family member played. Including grandmas and any little grandchild that could walk.

The banana tree was first base and a piece of cardboard might be second or third base and so on. We would choose up teams and play a long time until things started to get too serious. Then someone would lighten things up by picking up a base and hiding it or grabbing onto someone's shirttail so they couldn't run.

We would laugh and laugh and then we knew it was time to stop the game. It was time to have homemade ice cream. The day always ended with a big fireworks display.

After my parents passed on and we children scattered to various states, my family continued the tradition by celebrating it at our mountain home, Branwood Pines in Joes Valley. Complete with barbeque and followed by a song fest around our fire pit.

Unhappily we won't be celebrating this year in the mountains because of the drought and water situation. When things get better in the years to come we will more than likely be back at our old stomping grounds at the cabin.

Well, that is my world. Until next time remember: Celebrating the Fourth of July isn't about the place, or who you celebrate it with. It's about what you carry in your heart. The pride and patriotism that we hold dear for these United States. Have a good one.

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