Memories of the 4th of July
So, what are you guys all doing for July 4th? There
were fireworks up here at Sherman’s Amusement Park
Saturday and all the traffic jam that goes with it. We
of course, only have to go across the street to watch
from our beach, so that’s one traffic jam we don’t
have to worry about.
tells me that as a kid, the 4th of July was always a fun
time. The rules about fireworks were a little less strict
back then, so all kinds of sparklers; “M-80’s”
firecrackers and so on were all over the neighborhood.
Especially up at camp. He had an especially traumatic
time when a chunk of burning sparkler fell down his cowboy
boot as a kid, and left a permanent scar.
all Herman’s memories of the 4th were good ones.
With the sparkler incident, his mother rubbed butter on
the wound (a common bit of home wisdom of the day) which
didn’t help, according to him. He also watched one
fireworks display with his friend Stevie from their rowboat
in the lake. Since the fireworks were aimed out towards
the lake, this was not the ideal safety spot.
particularly large canister of fireworks misfired and
came down in the lake near them without exploding. (File
the following under, “don’t try this at home!”)
Stevie and Herman are still friends today, and they tell
me the end of the story was that they with his cousin
Dave transported the unexploded can of fireworks to a
sandpit on Herman’s farm and set it off by building
a fire and throwing it in. It’s amazing he made
it to adulthood.
Stevie and Herman are both in their late fifties. They
tell me a hilarious story of their first vehicle they
bought together from the proceeds of a newspaper route.
The vehicle in question was a Dodge panel truck, similar
to what used to be used to deliver baked goods to individual
homes on routes. I guess that practice also dates them.
Stevie was driving the panel truck with Herman as passenger
when Stevie dropped his jackknife and asked Herman to
look for it before it went through one of the probable
holes in the old flooring. You have to understand that
Herman’s passenger seat was an old rejected lounge
chair that would unfold on quick starts.
as Herman was looking on the floor for the knife, he noticed
Stevie also looking for the knife. This while the van
was still moving. As Herman yelled, “Who’s
driving this thing!?” they both sat up to see a
telephone pole directly in front of them. Stevie quickly
turned the wheel (resulting in the van going up on two
wheels and spinning in a circle). Luckily, no other traffic
(nor any police vehicles) were in the vicinity and they
both lived to misuse their driving privileges another
part of holiday like the 4th include memories of past
holidays and near disasters for all of us. I hope your
memories are all good ones.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting
career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance
writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns
may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com