Wicked Wednesday-4th of July Memories

NEWS: Mary Lou H is the winner of Mulch Ado About Murder! Check your Inbox or Spam folder, Mary Lou. And congratulations!

called-to-justiceJessie, In NH, dreaming of warmer weather!

Edith’s latest release, Called to Justice, opens on Independence Day. Which got me thinking fondly of the 4th of July which happens to be one of my favorite holidays. So, Wickeds, do you have any special memories of our nation’s birthday?

Barb: I, too, love 4th of July. I love barbecues with friends and family, parades, and fireworks. I have many happy memories of 4th of Julys past, from childhood to last year. Our front porch in Boothbay Harbor offers a fantastic view of the town fireworks, which are set off over the water. For the last several years, both my kids, their spouses, and my granddaughter have been with us, which makes it extra special. I especially love that my granddaughter shares my love of fireworks.

Edith: When my sons were growing up we had a one-acre back yard. On the 4th of July we’d invite everyone we knew and fill up the place, sometimes with more than a hundred friends. Kids jumped on the trampoline or splashed in the kiddie pool. Adults played horseshoes and volleyball. We set African rugs around on the grass for lounging. People brought sides or desserts, we grilled meats, and a keg of beer flowed under the big shade tree. It was a splendid way to gather community for a relaxing celebration, although I don’t miss the work it took to pull it off!

Liz: When I was a kid, we used to have family cookouts for the 4th. It was a big deal to have lobsters. My grandfather loved them and he would devour every piece that he could, right down to the icky green stuff. It wasn’t my thing, but I’ll always remember how happy he was sitting at the picnic table eating his lobsters and watching us play on the swing set.

Jessie: There is a Fourth of July parade that goes right past my house every year. There are antique cars, kids on bikes decorated bikes and the town fire and rescue vehicles. It is organized by volunteers and has a very small-town, nostalgic feel to it. The parade route is so short that they often go around twice. Ahh, village life!

Sherry: One of my most interesting Fourth of July experiences is when we were flying from Miami to Boston on a flight that left at 8:00 pm and landed around 10:00. For almost the entire flight we could see fireworks displays from above. It was so beautiful and we even saw part of the Boston celebration.

Barb: Sherry–I had a similar experience one year on the ferry from Provincetown to Boston. It was wonderful!

Julie: I adore the 4th of July. I have a ton of fond memories, including one year at Old Orchard Beach.  But my favorite thing to do is to watch the Boston fireworks, whether from my house (I can see them through my living room windows) or down on the Esplanade, which is very crowded but stunning. My favorite time was when my friend Mary was in town on the tour of Mama Mia (she played Rosie), and they were going to sing at the Pops concert. Knowing how much I love the holiday, she invited me to be one of her special guests! It was beyond thrilling, and a memory I will treasure forever!

Readers: Do you have a favorite Fourth of July memory?





15 Thoughts

  1. Sparklers when I was a little girl. (I still love them),Watching fireworks from a boat in Manchester harbor; bonfires on Gallows Hill, seeing my kids in the Gloucester Horribles parades, fireworks along the Florida gulf beaches coming from every direction. Awesome! Proud to be an American, especially on the fourth!

  2. So many memories, in so many different places! One of my favorites comes from when I lived in a multi-story apartment building in Cambridge, on Harvard Street. (I lived on the ground floor, so I’m not sure how many stories there were, but I’ll guess eight.) One 4th my roommate and I were invited up to the roof by an upstairs neighbor to admire the fireworks. We had a spectacular view of the Charles River–and the fireworks displays of three different communities all at once, strung along the river..

  3. My grandparents always bought sparklers for us (back when it was legal to do so in NY) and we danced around their backyard, which was much bigger than ours.

    Pittsburgh has a ginormous fireworks display downtown every year, coordinated with music over one of the local stations. I went one year, but it’s much too crowded for my taste these days. Gorgeous fireworks, though.

  4. As Sheila says above, so many memories from so very many places. Growing up, my father established a tradition that whoever was 10 years old in the household (of 13 children) had to memorize and recite a part of the Declaration of Independence – words he said we needed to know and understand: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.” I don’t know if that is completely correct, as I have typed it from memory.

    One of my most memorable commemorations of July 4th was on the USS WASP (LHD-1) off the coast of Somalia in 1993. We were part of the Amphibious Ready Group, 4 U.S. Navy ships, and had a number of allied ships operating with us, including a Royal Navy and an Italian ship. The Explosive Ordnance Team conducted a “pyrotechnic exercise” just after sunset. I got to pick out the music which was played over the ship’s public announcement system during the exercise.

  5. We had sparklers and those ashy “snakes” and the little spheres that would pop when thrown on the ground, but nothing more dangerous than that. I remember Overland’s public fireworks displays, and hot dogs . . . and then in the ’80s St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet Parade was moved from an October evening to 4th of July with fireworks on the Mississippi River by the Arch. Splendid!
    My oddest 4th was when I was teaching in Jamaica in 1983, resigned that the 4th would not be a holiday for me. I was out in the evening with a friend and saw fireworks some distance away. It made me inordinately happy. My friend confirmed that I wasn’t imagining it and guessed it was at the U.S. Embassy. “Crazy — they do that every year.” <3

  6. Oh yes, the sparklers, ashy worms, and popping spheres from childhood. I had forgotten about them. When we lived in Boston, my husband worked on the 44th floor of the Prudential Building so I would go sit in a window, turn on the radio and watch and listen to the Boston Pops on the Esplanade without having to fight the crowds. When the concert and fireworks were over, I’d just hop on the elevator down to the subway and would be home before most people could get to their cars. We used to go the Esplanade, but it go way too crowded after 1975 (Arthur Fiedler’s final year and then the bi-centennial madness). Years later, living in a small town, we lay on the grass and watched fireworks in someone’s yard. He was a licensed fireworks technician so we got a full display.

  7. For years as a kid, we would light off our own, safe fireworks. (You know, the kind that stay on the ground, not the bottle rockets) and we’d have sparklers.

    For years as an adult, some friends would host a BBQ, and then we’d go watch the town fireworks display. Now that they have kids, that has gone by the wayside, and I really miss it.

    Heck, I don’t even try to catch the town fireworks display any more. I just can’t deal with the hour trip home (instead of 15 minutes) due to the entire town being there.

    1. Attending the foreworks can take a lot of effort! We never atttended when I was a child because my parents felt the same as you do about the hassle. Now I live close enough to walk to them in the summer and I am really grateful not to be one of the drivers stuck on the road!

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