It is interesting to reflect on holidays like this as they are such a part of the American landscape..fireworks displays, barbecues and the like. Family times and times with friends long past.
The most vibrant memories I have of this holiday is from when I was young growing up, must have been around six to eight years old. My grandfather was alive back then and he had this great summer place at Cobot's Pond, New Hampshire. We would all pile into my parent's Vista Cruiser, wood paneled station wagon. You know the kind, with the seat that faced backwards in the way back and head up route 93 due North to my grandpa's place. The road would go by, then the turn off past the farms then the final turn off to the barely paved road down to the dirt packed road to his place. I did not know it then but he had what was coveted as a corner, lake front lot there. He was on a peninsula jutting out into the lake and had a fantastic view. All I really knew is that it was amazingly fun there. I could go swimming, water ski and watch the fireworks late at night as they were set off in the middle of the lake, from a barge by the pyrotechnic guy. My dad always explained the pyrotechnic thing to me, even before I was old enough to understand it.
My grandfather was an interesting man. He had a long career on the Boston and Maine Railroad. He was a conductor on the route that took him all the way up to Maine and back again. I remember he always had to get up at the ungodly hour of 3:30am to make his shift there and that amazed me. He ate saltine crackers soaked in milk for breakfast. I think that sufficed as "his version" of breakfast cereal. Later on in life, when I was old enough to understand, we figured out that he had a mistress and had been cheating on my grandmother for most of his career with the railroad. She was a nurse with the railroad and the real love of my grandfather's life. He waited until my grandmother died to marry this woman and became estranged from his first family, adopting her family as his own. This was when I was well into my college years and could grasp such strangeness. It was all very surreal to me. Now it has all faded into muted events that I now recall distantly and with some objectivity.
All of that aside, I have some very fond memories of the 4th of July. Times on the water, times in New Hampshire and times with my grandfather who I know genuinely loved me and may he rest in peace wherever he is now. He died years ago of age and complications due to emphyxema and a long smoking habit and love of Pall Mall cigarettes...
Yes, these are the wanderings of my mind on this 4th of July. The ambivalence of memories and the associations the mind may make. The people we love do things we don't expect but that does not mean we love them any less.
Thank you for reading my little ramble. May you create fond memories of your own. by unique_thesame from an image by iddy pixels