Growing up in the All American City of Park Forest IL, 4th of July was the best! We started the day with the Kiwana’s pancake breakfast with the maple syrup smell so stong! Then off to the parade with the family. After that we gathered at the fire station for cold Nehi soda’s from ice filled aluminum tubs. Dad was one of the first EMT’s, although back then they were the Rescue Squad. Later we would watch the water fights with the firemen. Eventually they used hollow jugs on suspended cable, high in the air. But when I was 13, Dad let me participate when they still pushed those drums about on the street.
I wasn’t first, second or third in the line on the hose but it didn’t matter when in the intensity of the moment I got nailed in the chest with blasting water from the other teams water hose. My saving grace was that I never let go of the hose! Dad was proud!
Then we spent the afternoon at the Aqua Center trying to keep boys from tossing us in the pool!
The best part of the day was at night, when we trouped up to the bog hill, laid out blankets and ate homemade caramel corn with Mom, Dad and the sibs while watching the fireworks. It is still my favorite holiday and every year I expect some thing magical to happen on the 4th of July! It was such a magical time as a kid.
It is memories like this that help me get through the bumpy spots in life. What are yours?