The Spirit of Seventy...Two
As the holiday weekend winds down, I’ll share a memory from a Fourth-long-past with you all. This particular Independence Day from my childhood likely started with a breakfast of cereal, toast, fresh fruit and a glass of milk. Mungo Jerry possibly played on the radio, singing the classic, “In the Summertime”. The front doorbell rang, mom answered it and returned to the kitchen with two of my friends. Despite my protests, she assured me that finishing my breakfast wouldn’t hamper any of our fun. Before anyone could say frosted flakes, I kept my clean-bowl promise and headed out to our backyard with my friends. Our sneakers came to rest beneath the crabapple tree. We discussed how we’d spend our morning—the morning events we’d planned several days earlier. A quick trip by bicycle to one friend’s house a few doors down eventually found our handlebars decorated with pint-sized American flags conveniently attached to wooden sticks. After a short ride down the street, another friend’s father fitted our bicycle tire spokes with red-striped and blue-striped white straws. As our energy soared so did the temperature, so we returned to my house for some tropical punch (you know, the delicious brand featuring the little island guy). My father was in our garage and revealed a surprise for us. He had these cool metallic plastic streamers in red, blue and silver that he tied to our handlebars. While he finished his handiwork, I retrieved a souvenir from our recent visit to Philadelphia. We kids were now ready for our Spirit Ride. No sooner did our tires hit the street than we started our patriotic campaign on wheels. Flags waving and tires clicking, we recited over and over the opening lines from the Declaration of Independence. From time to time I reached into my woven bicycle basket and clanged the scaled down reproduction of the Liberty Bell. We made umpteen trips around the development, proclaiming our patriotism and having a lot of fun. When our ride ended some time later, we were treated to ice cream bars and Mom’s announcement that no rain was in the forecast. That meant no rain to ruin the town’s fireworks for later that evening. After a break to play with our Barbies and GI Joes, we got permission to make several more trips throughout the neighborhood and promised to return in time for the multi-family barbecue.
Many years have passed since that memorable Fourth, but I remember the moments well. The tang of lighter fluid and charcoal. Sizzling burgers and steaks. Our laughter and shouts. The hiss of the sparkler as it caught a flame. The burst of tropical fruit juice as it exploded on my thirsty tongue. The clang of the vacation-memento bell. Bet Paul Revere never had so many fond memories after his historical ride but we kids surely did.
Wishing you many happy reading moments,
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED -- Ellora's Cave