Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

I just watched the 25 minute fireworks show from my 2nd floor bedroom window that the country club down the street puts on each year and it was as always very nice.The 4th for some reason triggers the same memory bank as X-Mas in me and gets me to thinking where I've spent past 4th of July's.In the mid to late 60's the 4th meant our two hour drive south down to Canisteo NY and my Uncles rustic hunting camp.No indoor plumbing way up in the hills and us kids loved it.You washed out of a rainbarrel full of water,drew water from a spring and watched the fireworks my dad and uncles would shoot off into the field across the road.We always got the fireworks in South Carolina each Easter on our camping trip to Florida.One year my uncle lit a whizzer thing and it whizzed backwards at the cabin instead.I never saw my Mom and two Aunts move so fast on the porch to get out of the way.After that I recall 1976 because it was our 200th and we were just two years out of high school so our gang had a memorable all nighter in Pittsford N.Y. which started out with fireworks at one of the two junior highs and ended in the wee hours with about 40 friends at a parents house that was out of town.It was also the only time I recall doing Acid on the 4th.77-81 were my Provincetown fireworks years with the exception of 78 when I went with one of my buddies from Babes and his parents down to friends of theirs out in the backroads of Orleans/Chatam.The folks we visited were MIT profs so I wasn't quite expecting the drinking and merry making these folks put on followed by firing shotguns into the air and myself asking their 16 year old daughter over and over if she'd like to go to the Wellfleet Drive In with me some night.The P-Town 4th's were always great as the town was jammed the fireworks were on the pier and then a few steps away into the Surf Club where the Provincetown Jug Bands 4th show was one of the best they played though they played each night of the summer the 4th always had a revved up crowd and rousing sing alongs to the patriotic songs.It also usually ended with the umbrella lady leading a conga line through the Surf Club with Geno right behind her on trombone as the boys played"When the Saints Come Marching In"After the Cape the 4th got more mundane for me but I do recall one in Melbourne,Fl one year where we took my friends 40 ft sport fisherman to watch the fireworks on the Inter Coastal only to have a nasty thunderstorm move in and cancel the show.What was scary was watching a large number of boats racing back to where they came from all at once some driven in a manner that suggested the consuming of many many many drinks.Also I recall my first July 4th in Manhattan Beach the first year I moved to Calif.I was living in a one bedroom right across from the beach and some friends were out visiting.On the 4th at night it was a giant party all along the beach/paved bikeway the length of Manhattan Beach.There were thousands of people all mingling,drinking and shooting off fireworks.It was the biggest block party I have ever seen.

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