Archive for Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Musing from the Hill, July 16, 2015

July 14, 2015

This is a continuation of last week’s article. The following gives my version of the delightful Fourth of July celebration, of which I was kindly invited to attend by my surrogate column helper, Sarah Baker. Without the wholehearted cooperation of Dee Schneck at Baker University, I probably would have to “turn in my cards.” I am 95 years old, have survived five strokes and with the help of Social Services, faithful friends and local business deliveries I am still here and “with it” — depending upon whom you ask.

The celebration serves as a family and friend reunion of approximately 100 people. In this age of scattered families, it was an anomaly and I was amazed that so many relatives, friends and neighbors could gather together as they often do with apparently no ensuing conflicts. Most families seem to be scattered here, there and everywhere.

Thank you for an inspiring and enjoyable evening. It gave me hope that in a few places in the USA, families still are able to gather together amicably. I shall never forget the Fourth of July, 2015 — the people, the gorgeous view from Pork Chop Hill and the honor due our fallen soldiers. I mourn their wasted lives. Old men declare war and young men die.

Reflecting on past Fourth of July celebrations: When I was a child there were no big Fourth of July celebrations in my small town. We were permitted to get up in the morning and we could use a few "quiet" fireworks — like torpedoes that we would throw on the sidewalks and ground with our heels and worms that would burn and shrivel up. When the neighborhood started stirring, the bigger boys came to the vacant lot next door and placed firecrackers in empty tin cans to see how high they would fly. The younger children contented themselves with watching.

One Fourth of July we had a terrible disaster, a father and his two sons manufactured a makeshift cannon. The father should have known better for he graduated from the Naval Academy. The outcome was horrifying. The younger boy had a hand blown off and the older boy lost his arm. This successfully put a stop to impromptu fireworks in our town. At night we usually, if some neighbors had the money, would shoot off a few rockets. But huge firework displays as we experience today, we did not have. I do not think that the town could afford such things during the Great Depression. After that, the Fourth of July was just a great big play day.

When we got older, getting near dating age, we had a game we called Sardines. This entailed one couple hiding and after a count of 10, other couples would try to find them. And the first couple who found the couple would crowd in with them. Kind of a reverse Hide-and-Go-Seek. Sarah, my helper, says that she participated in a game of Sardines on the Baker campus last fall and that she also played it while she was studying abroad in England, at the manor house where she was staying. I didn’t know they still played that!

Given the recent news concerning banning the Confederate flags, my opinion is that if they are unhappy with being part of keeping the United States a cohesive country they can take their Confederate flags and leave the country.

During the Civil War, my great-grandmother refused to remain in the South and take up arms against the North, because six out of eight of her family members who fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain in the Revolutionary War, were either dead or were wounded. She left and moved north rather than remain in a place that would split the nation asunder.

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