July 4th Memories
Happy 4th of July everyone! If you’re reading outside of the US, just to give you an inkling of what we’re dealing with; the 4th of July is a holiday we call America’s birthday, and we celebrate it by doing things that have become so darn American.
My memories of the 4th consist of eating hotdogs and Herr’s rippled potato chips, playing wiffel ball, eating bomb pops, running through crazy gimmick sprinklers, going to my grandparents and playing tag with my cousins.
Most people have a holiday on the 4th, and if it falls on a weekend, they get the Monday following as the 4th observed. This creates a paradox for us kids during summer vacation as our parents happen to be home. When we were younger, my mom didn’t work in the summers, so it didn’t really matter, but once I hit 12 or so, my mom would work in the summers too, and we all kind of got used to the freedom of being home alone for the day, in those hours between waking up and 4pm when my mom would come home.
As I sit here trying to think of 4th of July memories, my mind gets flooded with summer memories. An air conditioned house, running wild through the late night heat, feeling like the days would last forever, and the nights would never end. The 4th of July was just the culmination of all these things. Summer vacation starts on the last day of school, but the 4th of July is the day when you know it’s officially summer.
My brother was born on July 2nd, and I was born on July 9th. You can gather 2 things from this. My parents liked to get busy in October, and since we’re two years apart, as we got older we were thrown joint birthday parties usually around the 4th of July.
I could have been a little pissed that I had to share a birthday with my older brother and the USA, but I didn’t care. I got toys and junk food. I’ll write more about my birthdays next week, but today I want to share a story about when my brother got a Big Bang Cannon.
A tradition on this holiday is fireworks and blowing things up, and I had the itch from a young age. I would drool over catalogs of firecrackers in my teen years, but as a kid, my weapon of choice was the Big Bang Cannon. These bastards are actually made in our home town, and probably elsewhere. It’s a little toy cannon that you filled with water, then pulled the plug out of the back that had a little scoop and a flint to ignite the fuel. Then you took a tube of “bangsite” powder, and poured it into the scoop, you would put the plug into the back of the cannon and turn, which would dump the powder into the water forming a fuel. Push that flint in creating an ignition and BANG, just like a real cannon. See the video below of the exact model we had in action
I have homework for you today. I want you to enjoy the 4th like you did as a kid. I don’t care if that means having a hotdog and local brand chips, mixing up your favorite flavor of Kool-aid, playing sandlot baseball, going to the store and getting a cheap weird sprinkler to run through, or eating your favorite popsicle.
Let the memories of summer vacations flood your beautiful minds for that moment. No matter whats going on in your life good or bad, remember that wonderful time when you were a kid, and everything was perfect. I want you to try and hold on to that moment a long as you can, let it be your constant this summer. When you’re stuck in traffic, or in a boring meeting; remember the endless fun of your wonderful summer vacations.
I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July, and thanks for reading. If you want to post those memories that flooded into your head, or what you did today to celebrate like you did when you were a kid, go ahead in post in the comments.
I’ll talk to you all tomorrow on the Rad Years Summer Vacation.