03 July, 2009

"Happy 4th of July . . . "


Once upon a time . . . a long time ago . . .

Parades. Fireworks. BBQs. Sparklers. Cupcakes. It was one of my favourite 4th of July celebrations and took place over 20 years ago when I was living in Breckenridge. Of course, the population of the town and the ski resort explodes during the winter season, but dwindles down to practically nothing over the summer. So every summer the ENTIRE population of the town gathers down by the shores of Lake Dillion to watch the fireworks display over the water. Countless four-wheel drive vehicles parked in the woods. Townspeople gathering as sunset approaches. Slowly walking to the water's edge for the best view. Waiting for the sky to darken just a tiny bit more.

Then - the fireworks begin. And the requisite "oooh's" and "aaah's" arise from the crowd. It was a classic mid-summer evening. Dogs barking. Children laughing. After several minutes, the fireworks show was over. And once again, silence surrounded the mountainside. But, no one seemed to want to leave. People just stood in the silence.

Until someone started singing. And then, there in the darkness, as the last glimmering embers fell into the lake - an entire town sang "America the Beautiful." It was magical. Little has ever come close to it since.

I hope everyone has an amazing 4th of July planned. The classic 'summer' holiday is always kind of a challenge here in San Francisco. Firstly, it tends to be frighteningly chilly here in the summer. And inevitably, there is far too much fog to see any of the fireworks. One of our local jokes is about 'going down to Fisherman's Wharf to watch the fog turn different colours' - lol. So this weekend's activities include a fun BBQ with great friends - in their backyard - which will include all the classics; burgers on the grill, tons of side dishes, and heavy cashmere sweaters to combat the cold . . . and maybe we'll sing.

tartanscot


8 comments:

Preppy 101 said...

Gosh, you have such talent with the written word. Your posts are magical and moving. Thank you.

There is nothing like a 4th of July parade in a small, small town. Have a wonderful day.

tartanscot said...

wow, thanks prep! hope you're having a great weekend as well.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

You did paint a memorable picture with your words. I live for moments such as those.

Happy 4th to you!

Pigtown-Design said...

Went to a small town parade in the big city today. Home with the poor dog tonight. Babysitting his best dog pal, who peed in my bed. :-(

Alicia said...

Talk about nostalgia at its finest!!! Stay warm by the fire & have a frolicing good weekend!!!

Blue Muse said...

What a memory! I love those. The photo you chose is gorgeous, and I laughed out loud about 'going down to watch the fog change colors'.
I hope your 4th was fantastic - and that you sang.
xo Isa

red ticking said...

i always enjoy reading your blog... and this one esp..my family used to spend alot of time in breckenridge and vail and i know what you mean... so charming and lovely... and this year i spent it on gearhart beach... bonfires up and down the beach as far as your eye could see... and everyone had their own fireworks... it was magical and completely...american. i wish it were always that special.... x pam

Tracy @ comfortandluxury said...

Love this story.
And I understand that it's less than desirable on the 4th, but I think watching the fog turn different colors would be an interesting experience!
Really enjoy your blog, btw. I've peeked in a few times before but I'm not sure I've ever left a comment. So "hi", thanks, and I'll be back...

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