“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”

It’s raining but a summer rain which is almost gentle. I’m watching The Green Slime, a science fiction movie from 1968. The credits were accompanied by a wonderfully bad theme song. The plot is simple: astronauts have to blow up an asteroid on its way to Earth, but unbeknownst to them, they bring back the slime which turns them into crazed killers.

Today is, of course, the 4th of July, a day we celebrate the anniversary of declaring our independence. My memory is filled with celebrations for the 4th of July. One year, when I was little, I sat on the back steps and watched the fireworks bursting in the sky from the next town over. Starting when I was twelve and continuing until I was sixteen, I marched in the Wakefield parade. I was a member of St. Patrick’s Shamrocks drill team. Most years it was really hot, but the longest street was tree-lined which gave us a reprieve. Later, when I was an adult, I’d go up to my parents’ house, and we’d go watch that same parade. We’d set our chairs under one of those trees. On the morning of the parade, the street resembled a science fiction movie where all the people had disappeared leaving behind them empty chairs: they were there to reserve the best spots. After the parade, we’d have a barbecue. My mother made her deviled eggs and potato salad while my father tended the grill. The last few years I’ve spent with friends who would also have a barbecue with deviled eggs, and they’d get creative and serve interesting drinks. One year the drinks were blue, in keeping with the occasion of course. When I was in Ghana, we celebrated the American holidays. The 4th of July had no fireworks and no barbecue, it had friends getting together, a perfect way to spend the day.

This rain has me staying home today, but I’ll watch my traditional 4th of July movie: Independence Day. Usually Jaws is part of the double bill but this year it’s 1776, a favorite movie of mine. I’m going to barbecue but, alas, no deviled eggs.

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15 Comments on ““The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.””

  1. Bob Says:

    When my kids were young we used to go to the Independence Day parade in the Park Cities. Highland and University Park are two extremely wealthy independent cities that make up a hole in the middle of Dallas. Highland and University Park were developed by the same people who developed Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. Southern Methodist University is located in the Park Cities and both towns have the only high quality public school district which doesn’t accept any State or Federal money. If you can afford to live there then your property taxes support essentially a public school system that that provides your kids a private school education. No Federal money, then no bussing required. Every year they throw a big parade through the tree lined streets. The parade includes horses, floats, stage coaches and one year they featured a float with the Dixie Chicks. We would sit on the curb with the dog and kids and enjoy the activities.

    Last night our next door town of Addison Texas put on their famous firework display called “Kaboom Town”. Addison Airport comprises a large part of the town and houses a privately owned aviation history museum with flying versions of aircraft from World War II. Before the fireworks formations of WWII vintage airplanes fly over my neighborhood in a reenactment of famous air battles. There is nothing like the sound of radial engines droning overhead from B17 and B25 bombers or from fighters like the P51 Mustang, F4U Crusader, Japanese Zero and German ME 109. The fireworks are accompanied by patriotic music that is simulcast on a local FM radio station. I love to sit to sit next to the car on a folding chair and listen on the stereo to the music which always ends with the final bars of the 1812 Overture synced to the big firework display.

    Today is just another version of summer in Texas. High in the upper 90s and clear skies.

    We here in the US should take a moment every day to give thanks that we live in this great country where freedom and opportunity abound for everyone. Despite our disagreements we are far and away better off than any other place on earth. People line up daily at US embassies to apply to come to the US and have a chance to live in freedom while others risk their lives to sneak across our border to give their families back home the economic advantages that we take for granted. The great noble experiment that our founding fathers began on this day in 1776 still works. It’s not perfect, but it beats the heck out of anything else.

    • Kat Says:

      I have the sense my only exposure to Park Cities would be a drive through oohing at the houses. I do that here in parts of Centerville with the huge houses with their winding driveways and the water right out the back door. Some houses you can’t even see from the road.

      I love the title of Kaboom Town. How cool to watch the vintage aircraft flying over. I’d be awed. One came to Hyannis a few years back and the line to see it was long, but I didn’t care. I waited.

      The Pops always end their July4th concert with fireworks over the Charles as they play the 18212 Overture. It’s magnificent.

      It is so amazing that we were the first ever to declare independence from a mother country and then the framers of the Constitution wrote a document which has withstood the test of time and still is the ruling document of this country.

      • Bob Says:

        The Boston Pops, fireworks, baseball and hot dogs say it all on the fourth.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The chairs are still there. It’s a summer version of Boston snow parking. 😀
    When I was a kid we could see the fireworks from my mother’s bedroom window. The trees have all grown taller over the decades and now the view is blocked for all except the highest flying fireworks.
    One year my brothers and I got to ride in the Rescue Truck with my Dad who was going to be driving it in the parade. Riding in a fire truck in the 4th of July Parade was great but I never wanted to do it again. It meant being at the end of the parade with all the other fire trucks each sounding sirens and bells. It was a bit painful on the ears. It also meant not seeing any of the rest of the parade.
    Considering the current white shark population on the Cape, I might want to leave Jaws off the movie list this time.
    Today started out rainy, is now sunny and humid and will probably go through some more wet and sunny bouts as the day progresses. I’m not scheduled for anything myself, today, though I may grill a hot dog, have potato salad and chips for the sake of tradition.
    Enjoy the 4th!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I guess even the oldest habits die hard! I remember one of us driving over ( my parents lived close to Wakefield) hauling all those chairs.
      My brother-in-law was Uncle Sam one year, but he’s the only person I know other than me who has been in the parade.
      I think the great whites are the perfect reason to show Jaws-stir top a little fear!
      Same weather here-the sun is out, and it’s getting hotter and more humid. I need to do a bit of shopping to buy my dinner-sausages I’m thinking!

  3. olof1 Says:

    As You know by now we really don’t know how to celebrate our National day here. They do try to get us in to the mood but most don’t know why we celebrate it and very few would wave a flag here, only the immigrants and nazis I’m afraid 🙂 🙂 🙂 Most of us just enjoys a day free from work, perhaps a barbecue if the weather permits.

    I think I’ve seen The Green Slime but it was in black and white long ago. I think I need to buy some of those old movies since they rarely show them on tv here.

    Have a great 4th of July!

    • Kat Says:

      July 4th is really a huge holiday with parades and fireworks. Barbecues are also huge.

      The movie is in that funny color of the 60’s. A party scene had the perfect 60’s vibe and the clothing was colorful and short.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    Rain here too so we are waiting to see if it stops in time for the fireworks in the Village. All cooking will be done inside which is a first. The weather is just too nasty with strong winds. The adults are consumed with following the new physics discovery of “God’s Particle”, sounds like a movie. We bounce around to see if other news channels has more on the subject than CNN. My son moved the pool party to Sunday. Enjoy your devil eggs!

    • Kat Says:

      Thanks, Z&Me!

      The rain stopped in a short time, and we’ve had sun and a warm day. I turned on the AC and am quite comfortable.

      I suspect your menu will taste as good cooked inside!

      Happy July 4th

  5. Beto Ochoa Says:

    I remember my very first Deviled Egg. I remember every detail of the moment. It was the most fantastic thing I’d ever eaten. I was five and it was at a church Covered Dish Supper on the Fourth of July. Mrs Olsen, in her Blue Flowers print dress, pulled the Saran Wrap back and showed me the oddest thing I had ever seen. A hard boiled egg filled with what looked like yellow icing and red stuff sprinkled on top. I was terrified but she coaxed me to taste it and I was hooked. I ate it very carefully and when I went back to ask for more they were all gone.(out of all the lady members, she made the best ) She told me it was bad manners to ask for seconds and I cried. Some time later she came by our house and dropped off a plate of them. Just for Beto she said. I was her champion forever after that.

    • Kat Says:

      This is the most wonderful memory. I can see Mrs. Olsen and I have no trouble picturing those deviled eggs. I can totally understand your first reaction. They are stranger than eggs any other way. Mrs. Olsen was so very thoughtful and kind to make a whole plate of them just for you.

  6. Birgit Says:

    Happy 4th of July !
    I was very impressed when I had the opportunity to celebrate
    your holiday 2007 in Denver (barbershop music convention).
    So many happy people peacefully together on the streets
    and in the park, playing, dancing, having a picnic
    and huge great fireworks.

    • Kat Says:


      My sister posted the best quote about the 4th, “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck

      That’s perfect!

  7. im6 Says:

    Hi! I’m late to the party, but wanted to pass along my best wishes even though the 4th is over on the East Coast. Still in Texas and the good news is that it’s cooler here than at “home.” Of course, that won’t be the case for long. Watched the fireworks over the Hemisfair tower from afar and that was the extent of my 4th celebration. Not much to celebrate since my new place fell through (they didn’t think a retired person could afford it — even though I offered to pay months in advance). I’ve been freaking out and reconsidering my options. The main fireworks have been my temper! Enjoy that deck!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi im6!!
      I was so excited to read you had found a place to live, but now I’m bummed for you. I think you ought to sue for age discrimination or maybe just threaten to sue!!

      I’m glad you at least hd the fireworks, temper or not!

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