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Old 06-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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4th of July Memory

With the 4th of July fast approaching I always think back to childhood memories. We lived in the Phoenix area and so there was always sun, so our large family always had big family BBQs and once of our uncles always provided fireworks. Playing with our cousins in the sprinkler was a high light! My aunt could cook like crazy and we always seemed to have tons to eat about 6 pies and would all take a turn cranking the ice cream machine.

What about you? What did you used to do and what of those memories do you still continue?

We do most of the things that we did as kids, food (tons of it) big bbq's (family and friends), I make homemade ice cream and pies, in the NW fireworks are ok here still but we do way less - but can see the big ones from our house, I have added s'mores to our 4th. I make homemade marshmallows squares and graham crackers.......oh and we have a lemonade bar. Strawberry, raspberry and blueberry can be added to straight lemonade.

Love the 4th! Our freedom to do all of these things is well celebrated here.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Growing up in the big city (SF), my fondest childhood memory of the 4th was when we traveled back to the mid west to visit family one year. All the things you mentioned were there in a rural setting. Big gathering, BBQ and baked goods, hot weather, and of course fireworks.

As an an adult, I have a fond memory from just a few years back. We were full time in our coach and visiting the DW's family in rural Minnesota. Her niece hosted the big family gathering at her small farm. After dark and before the fireworks I took a walk out by the corn field.

It was a beautiful evening, calm and quiet. Looking out over the tops of the corn it had become alive with fire flies coating the corn with twinkle lights. Looking back at the family all gathered, eating and playing games while the fire works were being set up reminded me of a real Normal Rockwell scene.

Cool stuff.

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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I remember the 4th visiting my Aunt and Uncle in small town central Texas. Old fashion parade down town and back to the dairy farm for hand cranked ice cream and cold water melon. Then at night, the fireworks display and more ice cream and water melon.

Ken
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Growing up in the big city (SF), my fondest childhood memory of the 4th was when we traveled back to the mid west to visit family one year. All the things you mentioned were there in a rural setting. Big gathering, BBQ and baked goods, hot weather, and of course fireworks.

As an an adult, I have a fond memory from just a few years back. We were full time in our coach and visiting the DW's family in rural Minnesota. Her niece hosted the big family gathering at her small farm. After dark and before the fireworks I took a walk out by the corn field.

It was a beautiful evening, calm and quiet. Looking out over the tops of the corn it had become alive with fire flies coating the corn with twinkle lights. Looking back at the family all gathered, eating and playing games while the fire works were being set up reminded me of a real Normal Rockwell scene.

Cool stuff.

Rick
Great memories! Thanks for sharing, I felt like I was in the corn field too!
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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I remember the 4th visiting my Aunt and Uncle in small town central Texas. Old fashion parade down town and back to the dairy farm for hand cranked ice cream and cold water melon. Then at night, the fireworks display and more ice cream and water melon.

Ken
Love that memory! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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Not a 4th memory but a summer one. Every summer we visit grandparents in Oklahoma and Iowa. In Oklahoma I had 80+ cousins and we all would take turns cranking the ice cream maker at gramps farm (no water/electricity). We would only get one turn of the crank before you hand it off to the next guy in line. And M-80's
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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I forgot about the size of the firecrackers...almost small dynamite. We could take a couple and splinter the top of a cedar fence post. Small wonder we were not injured for life.

Ken
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Not a 4th memory but a summer one. Every summer we visit grandparents in Oklahoma and Iowa. In Oklahoma I had 80+ cousins and we all would take turns cranking the ice cream maker at gramps farm (no water/electricity). We would only get one turn of the crank before you hand it off to the next guy in line. And M-80's
We love the old cranks and I would have one anytime; I just need to find one. LOL

Summer used to be a time for us to visit family and have lots of fun too. We work really hard on doing that with our kids and their families still. I always wish we had 80 cousins! We would have so much fun.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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I forgot about the size of the firecrackers...almost small dynamite. We could take a couple and splinter the top of a cedar fence post. Small wonder we were not injured for life.

Ken
Seems that those are still legal here. Our next door neighbor's daughter accidently threw one at our car and put the biggest dent in it. She actually had a few taped together and then go scared and it hit my car.............I was so upset. But everyone has them here.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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I forgot about the size of the firecrackers...almost small dynamite. We could take a couple and splinter the top of a cedar fence post. Small wonder we were not injured for life.

Ken
We would take the M-80's and throw them down a length of capped off well pipe and quickly slap on a wooden plug. It must have thrown them 200 feet into the fields and over the cottonwoods.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:03 PM   #11
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I always wish we had 80 cousins! We would have so much fun.
There is a down side to that large of a group-same family names over and over (Bobby/Billy/Steve/) and as my cousins would tell me that in a small town it was hard to find a date that you weren't related to
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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Lived on a lake in New England (mas.). The entire (large) family met there each fourth for a old fashioned clam bake. Steamed/baked and raw clams, corn on the cob, real Boston Baked Beans, Hamburg, Hot Dogs, Potatoe Salad, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer in a keg, and Strawberry Short Cake for desert.

Those were the carefree days of summer!
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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I remember when I was a kid, must have been '86 or '87, we went to my dad's friend's house in Peoria, Illinois to enjoy some 4th festivities and then later watch the fireworks show . We lived in Bartonville, a suburb with a population of ~500 at the time and no fireworks show of their own.

As the sun was setting, we (the kids) were all lined up at a T-ball stand, taking turns hitting the ball off the tee into a net with an aluminum bat. My older brother was up at bat and, just as he was about to swing, my younger brother, who was next in line, yelled "Oooh, grasshopper!!!" and dove down next to the tee. He got there at the same time as the bat, and took the hit in his eyebrow. Nearly knocked him unconscious and the blood started flowing, fast! My mom scooped him up and ran towards the passenger-side of the car while my dad headed towards the drivers-side, and off they went.

In a matter of seconds, we went from having fun to being left alone, with no explanation as to where our parents went (hospital), or when they would be back (a couple of hours later). We had only met the owner of the house earlier that day, so it was like being left with a stranger.
We were shuffled into the house and sat down in front of the TV to wait for our parents to get back. We were so freaked out about what happened, we didn't think about the fireworks... and missed the show.

When my parents got back with my brother, all stitched up and feeling better, they promised him that since he (and the rest of us kids) missed the fireworks, they would buy some and set them off at our house a few days later.

They must have spent quite a bit, because the show at our house lasted for ~30 minutes, and attracted most of the neighbors within a 1/2 mile area. There were some that launched up high with a dramatic BOOM, and some that whistled while they spun on the ground. They even had a few 'kid-friendly' ones that we got to light. It was well worth the wait!!

Now, as an adult, the scar on my brother's eyebrow has faded, but is still visible to those of us who know where to look. He doesn't remember it as well as I do (probably a good thing!), but we joke that, on that 4th of July, he was the only one of us that got to see fireworks!! So, he got to see two shows that year!
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:08 PM   #14
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Lived on a lake in New England (mas.). The entire (large) family met there each fourth for a old fashioned clam bake. Steamed/baked and raw clams, corn on the cob, real Boston Baked Beans, Hamburg, Hot Dogs, Potatoe Salad, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer in a keg, and Strawberry Short Cake for desert.

Those were the carefree days of summer!
That sounds amazing!
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