What is your most memorable Fourth of July? Its being one of my favorite holidays, I remember fondly many single events as well as a number of July 4th traditions.
For single events, the year we were in Europe on July 4th comes to mind, when we sang patriotic songs with extra enthusiasm partly because we were the only people around who were doing it.
One of my favorite July 4th traditions was the volleyball games and neighborhood dinners that we had on Bel Aire Court in Cupertino for several years in a row. During those same years Gillian and her friends decorated their bikes and rode them up and down the street as a kind of private parade.
One of the most exciting events of my childhood took place on July 4th, 1949, the date marking the Centennial of Port Huron, Michigan, my birthplace. Along with the start of the traditional sailboat races to Mackinac Island, the city sponsored a special parade and various contests for the kids.
My mother entered me in the “longest pigtail” category — other categories were “most freckles,” “reddest hair,” and “curliest hair” (what a mid-twentieth century oddity! who would do it today?). In my category I came in as runner-up!
Almost more fun than the contest itself was the prize: a ride in an airplane, and it was my very first. I loved flying!
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!