Monday, July 04, 2005

Jose can you see

That was the punchline of a joke about the Star Spangled Banner that was popular back in the early 1960s. Joe and Sara, who ever they may be, have offered a fun little July 4 experience at their Website. Try it out at As a kid, July 4 centered round fireworks. Mom and dad were careful with their money, so not much was spent on fireworks, which were still legal then. They’d get a few boxes of sparklers, some Piccolo Pete’s, some “slugs,” and perhaps a few Roman candles. However, the neighbors, who were three elderly people raising a granddaughter my age, did have money to burn and so they would buy a big assortment of fireworks and bring it over to our house for my father to set off. What can I say – what kid doesn’t like fireworks? Our son was no exception, except we were even tighter with our money, I think, then my mom and dad. Sometime in the mid-1980s, my parents came to visit one year on July 4. We had gone to the fireworks stand and bought a small assortment of fireworks, including various sizes of bottle rockets. Bottle rockets? A small firecracker-type affair (plus propellant) on a stick that is placed in a soda bottle. When the fuse is lit, it shoots high up into the air and makes a very satisfying bang. One bottle fell over as my dad lit the fuse and the rocket came shooting in the direction of my mother. It missed, fortunately. But perhaps the most meaningful activity for me on July 4 in years past has been the tradition on National Public Radio of well-known people reading the Declaration of Independence. It’s quite moving

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