Small Town Next Door has a festival going on, and I'll be covering some of the morning events for the paper, which is honestly not my strong point. My goal will be to get all the names spelled correctly. And then my big fat summer band will be giving a concert in the park in the evening. Assuming the weather holds up, it should be a fine night even if we do have to play "God Bless the USA." I can't help but think of the film "Wag the Dog" when I hear that thing, and I continue to be amazed when the audience stands for it as if it were the national anthem. Sit down!
Beyond that, the family will be leisurely and possibly spend some time at the lake and probably will not talk about things patriotic. Honestly, even if you privately feel a renewed sense of patriotism on July 4th, how often do you spend the day waving the flag figuratively or literally?
It is a notable day for reasons other than our nation's independence from the grubby king, after all. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on this day, as was Stephen Foster, Calvin Coolidge, Louis B. Mayer, Neil Simon and Ann Landers and her sister Abigail Van Buren.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on this day in 1826. James Monroe died on July 4 a few years later. And then there was Eva Gabor, Charles Kuralt, Barry White and Bob Ross the soft-spoken painter who made happy trees all dying on this day in history.
On this day in 1845, Thoreau began his experiment at Walden Pond. And in 1939, Lou Gerig bid farewell to the Yankees, saying "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
Patriotism, or no patriotism, flag waving or no flag waving, stinking God Bless the USA or no—it's a big day. Personally, I do feel patriotic on this day, and I'm a huge sap for fireworks and the National Anthem. So, happy Fourth of July, and happy birthday to Koko the sign-language gorilla who loves kittens.