Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fourth of July

Yup, it's tomorrow, but today I have the computer all to myself.

I posted about the 4th last year, but I have a few new thoughts this year. One old thought: I prefer calling it Independence Day. That was when all those traitors to the British Crown declared their desire to be free and were willing to fight for it. Against all odds, it worked. That'll teach tyrants to throw out all their dissidents, third sons of the nobility, and independent thinkers. They will turn on you. The present government here should take note of that fact, but I guarantee they won't.

July 4th, 1968: I was in Vung-Tau, Viet Nam. We had no duty and went to the beach and ate steaks, drank a lot of beer, went swimming in the South China Sea, and passed out in the sand. Then, it seemed like a good time. That night, instead of fireworks, a bunch of GIs fired off a lot of ammo into the air complete with flares and tracers. Nice show, but I was still heading to the bunker, hung over, and not knowing who was shooting: VC or us.

July 4th, 1976: We lived in a campground in PA. That was our home. I wasn't feeling very patriotic. But the campground had some fireworks, and the smell of cordite freaked me out. We ate a lot of camp food with our neighbors, and then planned our emigration to Canada.

July 4th, every year we lived in Canada (1977-1995), we never let our kids forget that we were still Americans. We celebrated Canada Day July 1, every year, saw a lot of fireworks and then had a few sparklers and grilled more meat on the 4th.

July 4th, 1996-present: We have been in NC, in the same house. Had a few 4ths here with the family. We have never gone to any public display of fireworks, parades, or whatever. It has become a time for family gatherings 'cause we have the day off. (unless you're an independent retailer giving your help the day off. See PDB)

July 4th, 2007: We are heading to Wal-Mart for the weekly supplies and commercial abuse. We have one senior member of the family in the hospital; some other family members will be at the POPS concert in Boston; others will be in their pool in Florida.

We are diverse and scattered. We will be doing thoroughly American things (except traveling), and remembering that dissension is the American way. (Well, maybe not all of us.)

Have a good holiday; celebrate your freedoms by taking them out for a walk.

BRB is Write (and has a Red, White, and Blue cake in the house.)


Blogger phlegmfatale said...

You know, I feel for you losing that tree. There was once a sentinel tree in my life. For 5 years, I commuted 35 miles each way to school at UNT in Denton from McKinney. Like a sentinel at a gateway, I watched this one tree by the roadway change with the seasons. During winter and denuded of leaves, this tree had art-nouveau-looking sprays of berries arcing gracefully downward. I always looked forward to the first day I saw it like that every winter. Then, the last month I was in school, the road was being widened, and they cut it down. I always wondered if I was the only one of the thousands of souls to drive that roadway daily who even noticed that tree. I appreciated it, and I missed it.

Thanks for reminding me - haven't thought about it in years. I guess in a way, it was mine.

oh well.

6:26:00 PM  
Blogger brbiswrite said...

Thanks for the comment. I guess you can tell I'm anti-development, or, at least, anti- the way it is done with little regard for the landscape and the resulting fields of barren houses that take the place of forests and farms.


2:55:00 PM  

After hearing from you about the poetry blog I monitor, I decided to check out your blog and, maybe it's an age thing (I prefer to think it is a common sense thing), but I agree with much of what you are saying. To my surprise you mentioned that you had been in Vung Tau, Vietnam. I just returned from staying there for 3 months; a beautiful place.

7:02:00 AM  
Blogger brbiswrite said...


I'll call you George, OK?
When I was in Vung-Tau, it was pretty shabby with G.I. bars, blackmarket, and the usual detrius that an army of occupation brings. I could still see the beauty of the place, and the influence of French and other Western powers from the past. I took a few trips around the penninsula and realized that it had been a resort town for many many years.

I am curious as to what brought you to Vung-Tau. I have no desire to return, but some of my army mates have and have posted pictures.


9:15:00 AM  

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