Home > childhood, friends, gardening > 4th of July Memories

4th of July Memories

I am a lover of Summer and have many fond memories of the fourth of July. My dad drove truck and I started going with him since as long as I could remember. A lot of Fourths we would be out in the country somewhere and we would climb up on top of the truck and watch fireworks out in the distance. Sometimes we would see them in several different towns. I remember the anticipation of waiting for true dark when they would begin. I can only think of one time when we just came up empty.

My most memorable Fourth we were in St Petersburg. I was maybe eight and John would have been eleven. I don’t remember what Dad was doing but we were out on our own playing. They shot the fireworks out over the water and we were swimming in the warm Gulf pretending we were storming the beaches of Normandy or whatever.

As an adult the Detroit fireworks would sometimes draw me out. Impressive display. I would also catch Toledo’s over the river or in a pinch Monroe’s could be seen from our house on Roeder Street. Mom always kept the dog in, concerned about malicious children and explosive devices.

In 1994 I was with Sarah and Christa at our abandoned house (headquarters for Ozark Summer) in Black Missouri. It was nice to be away from crowds of people and we spent a leisurely day hanging out in the hammock. We drove down to a small town and watched their display. We took our kitten we had found and later lost again. That was such a bustling time of frenetic high jinks it just stands out as peaceful.

On the Fourth of July 1996 I was living in Berkeley. Phil and I dropped some acid and walked down to the Marina to watch the show. We were seated near several different groups of folks and some were speaking Mandarin and some Spanish and other languages and it started to freak us out. We moved to a quieter place and enjoyed the display. Walking out someone began throwing fire crackers into the crowd. Out of nowhere a squad of storm troopers in full riot gear game trotting in and snatched up some brothers. Very freaky.

Seven years ago I was in Mesquite Nevada. Dad was in the hospital in St George Utah with a necrotic kidney. I didn’t even go outside to watch the fireworks. Just sat in the crappy casino hotel room watching their crappy cable. Nevada is the only state with universally poor hotel cable. They don’t want you in your room watching TV. Gotta get out there and lose some money.

The last several years I have gone with friends to downtown Columbia and watch the fireworks over Faurout Field from a parking garage. Pretty fun and usually run into people I know.

This year I agreed to have people over. Dad and I took a morning trip to Boonville and had their crappy brunch buffet. We stopped and got some fireworks at a tent outside of town. Mostly cones that shoot sparks since I live in town. When we got home I cleaned up the rose bed. They have been sickly and was concerned about disease so I raked out the mulch, broke up the clay a bit, and planted a new one i got at the grocery store for six bucks. It came with a packet of fertilizer and I sprinkled it around all the roses because I put in a lot of compost when I planted it. I sprinkled more compost about.

After getting cleaned up guests began arriving. Eric not only brought Dad a six pack of gluten free beer (pretty good actually) but did chicken wings in rice flower. I didn’t have the heart to tell him there is gluten in Worcestershire Sauce. We pitched some horse shoes and more people came, around a dozen. I kept winning and we had some good first time players which was fun. Other folks broke out the Boccie Ball. Dad did the grilling smoked a turkey breast and did some local hot dogs and ground pork patties. Other folks brought brats. We did up a dozen yellow and a dozen white sweet corn. Pretty much the first of the season.

We broke up the party and most of us caravaned to Faurot Field to watch them up close. It was very fun being close and firework technology gets better and better. We were so close flaming debris fell around us. We shot the shit and shared some Fourth of July memories.

Categories: childhood, friends, gardening
  1. July 5, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Very nice reminisce. I haven’t thought about that St Petersburg weekend in years…a fun time.

    I set off a bunch of Missouri fireworks earlier. It was all fun until bullets started falling out of the sky…so we called it a night.

    As I write this it is after 11 and the neighborhood sounds like a war zone. Fat dog is under the blankets quivering.

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