When I was young, the 4th of July meant a huge family picnic at my Gram’s. Not only was it the birthday of our country, it was her birthday, as well. (I have since learned it is also her cousin’s birthday and her nephew’s birthday.) It meant the village parade, and our own private parade in the long drive-way. It meant good food, family time… and my uncle ‘directing’ a home movie. I really need to get those old 8mm converted, if it isn’t too late already. It was time to watch James Cagney as George M. Cohan. Dad and Gramps setting off small fireworks; filling paper food boats with caps and snakes and setting them alight on the largest puddle available. Sticking a cottonball beard on my brother, along with a construction paper top hat and sticking him in our cousin’s Red Flyer wagon to be Uncle Sam. It meant watching “1776”, waving flags, celebrating all things American. The only stores open were the convienence stores, and even they were only open a few hours in the morning.
Today, I will go to work at a grocery store, and people will be coming in all day, like it was any other day for the most part. There will be music and activities and fireworks at the Plaza. I may see if any station is showing “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, although it doesn’t seem to be shown every year any more. I can always put “1776” in the DVD player. I will stay away from the “Big Sales” at stores that really don’t need to be opened.
Happy Birthday, America!