Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Fourth of July Memories

It's Saturday Night on the Fourth of July - let's have some Genealogy Fun! If you're reading this on Sunday morning, or even later, it's not too late for you to participate.

Here is the assignment for tonight:

1. Think of the best Fourth of July you remember from your childhood.

2. Think of the best fourth of July you remember from your adulthood.

3. What did you do today?

4. Write about one, or all, of them on your blog or in Comments to this post.

Here's mine:

1. The best memory I have from my childhood was going over to my father's cousin's house and playing with sparklers and watching firecrackers go off. San Diego County was, and still is, a firecracker free county (but many break the law, of course). My father's cousin's husband, Chuck (we always called him just "Chuck," but his real name was Marshall Beal Chamberlain) bought firecrackers and sparklers from Tijuana (or from someone who snuck them up from Tijuana). And my brother and I got to wave the sparklers around. Chuck and his buddies would shoot off the firecrackers in their enclosed patio and yard. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but it was "forbidden fruit" in the 1950's for this San Diego boy.

The other memory I have is going to my grandparents house on Point Loma and driving along Rosecrans Street in their 1950 Hudson with fireworks going off overhead. I never liked being real close to the booms and these were a little too close.

2) As an adult, we often went to Coronado Beach on the 4th of July, sometimes with the girls softball team or the girls Brownie/Girl Scout troop. For several years, the team and coaches (I was the coach, Linda the manager) rode in an open truck in the Coronado 4th of July Parade down Orange Avenue. One year at the beach it was really cold - like 65 F and the wind blowing the sand in the afternoon. We never shed our outer clothes and never saw the sun that day. These beach outings usually ended with a fire in the concrete rings cooking S'mores.

3) We're off to the Padres-Dodgers game at 1:10 p.m. at Petco Park today. After that, we'll go to our church where there is a traditional picnic on the patio with lots to eat, games for the kids, enough shade for the sensitive, and fireworks in the evening from the adjacent San Diego Country Club. We always have front row seats! If we're lucky, Tami and her family will come for the game and picnic, but maybe not the fireworks, since it will be past Lolo and Audder's bedtime.


Martin said...

1. Define childhood! I loved going to see the fireworks over the Statue of Liberty in New York and standing at Battery Park, with everyone singing New York, New York.

2. Adulthood--being in San Francisco on the top of my in-laws' building on the top of Nob Hill. Watching the fireworks (sort of) through the fog and listening to the concert.

3. Today, I'm just hanging out. No plans. Went to the Boston pops last year, so this is a slow year.

BeNotForgot said...

I have a few that stand out in my memory . . . I had already made a blog-post today about what we were doing on this date in 1986 > < . . . and then there was the summer of 1973 when we attended Willie Nelson's very 1st 4th of July Picnic (in Dripping Springs, TX) . . . and then there was 1980 when we vacationed in Colorado on our BMW touring bike & watched fireworks in Estes Park . . . while it SNOWED! Wish I was there today (the other two previous options sound way too hot on this 100+ degree day!) Happy 4th, y'all!

GeneaDiva said...

posted mine at

Unknown said...

What I did July 4, 2009 hasn't changed much since childhood, still living in the small town where I grew up. My Granny's house was on the parade route, so it was
a gathering place for aunts,uncles and cousins. My Granny had three sons;they had four children among them: two "onlies" and a brother and sister act, two boys and two girls. So it wasn't a large gathering, but we were close. Sadly, the cousins grew up,moved
away and the gatherings stopped. Granny's house is no longer in the family, but we still hang out in the neighborhood, as it was only two blocks from our church and the
elementary school I attended.

We start the day at one of the longer-running (at least in LA) Independence Day parades. This
year's theme was Let Freedom Ring. Not only is it the country's birthday, but Bogalusa's as well-
95 and counting. The City and the American Legion put on a good show. The Coast Guard station
commander from New Orleans was invited to be grand marshall last year and had so much fun he's worked with the locals to add more items-helicopters flying over the route, boats taking part in the parade, and then stationed at the Legion Home for viewing afterward. This year he helped arranged for the Navy Band to ride and play during the parade. This is a very popular group, especially during
Mardi Gras. Local Legionnaires were also honored. Local veterans who are able ride on their own
float. We started buying Freedom bells last year as a fundraiser for the group. We ring the bells
as they ride by and tell them "Thank You." One veteran who has to be approaching 90 still wears his uniform, and still cuts a fine figure in his dress whites. Also on hand were local boys
who were part of the CWS Champion LSU Tigers baseball team. Very popular with the crowd. This
is a paper mill town, and the local pageant is the Paper Queen Ball,held just before the holiday.
So on their red, white and blue float rode the Queen, Miss Dixie and the Sweetheart of the American
Legion. Antique cars, firetrucks, motorcycles, antique tractors, and local groups riding on decorated trailers completes the review. Candy and beads were thrown to one and all.

I do remember riding in the parade a couple times as a child. Once in a vehicle and another time on bicycles. Did you decorate your bike with crepe paper and streamers, and put playing cards
on the rims to make noise in the spokes? No children on bikes any more, which is a shame.

I like to watch A Capitol Fourth and the Boston Pops programs on tv, but take a break to
drive back to town to see the fireworks after dark. No need to hunt a shade tree this time, we just sat on the church steps. The fireworks are launched from the paper mill pond. Anyone who wants
can sit in the high school football stadium to view. They are not choreographed to music, but it sure would be nice if the
local radio stations played a patriotic medley at this time.

That's it, a small town celebration. I hope you enjoyed your day and remembered those who serve(d) so that we can enjoy
the freedom we share. Thanks, Randy.


Greta Koehl said...

Well, it's too late for me to post my Saturday night genealogy fun (I had to WORK this weekend - boo hoo!), but your fireworks from Tijuana reminded me of the four magic words on the Fourth of July for our family here in Virginia: "illegal fireworks from Pennsylvania"!