Saturday, July 5, 2008


"How are you going to celebrate the founding of our great nation?" my roommate's boyfriend asked the small group of us assembled in the kitchen.

"I'm going to get all dressed up in red, white and blue, and play marching music." It sounded ridiculous as soon as I said it. They must have thought I had just come up with the most absurd thing I could think of and sarcastically spewed it out. But I was dead on 4th cropped

A half hour later, accompanied by John Philip Sousa, I emerged from my bedroom in a blue and white checkered circle skirt (i.e. poodle-less poodle skirt) with red rick rack trim, a blue tanktop, stockings with red seams up the back, white earrings, blue shoes and a red ribbon in my hair. My glasses and undergarments were also blue, but they don't really count. Happy Fourth of July!

This is how I celebrate my third-favorite holiday, in all it's patriotic glory. I used to have these wonderful America-holiday shoes to go with my red, white and blue outfits. They were fabulous, blue glitter covered strappy sandals with little American flags and red, white and blue streamers in the front 3" clear platform, 7" stiletto heels in the back. I loved them. I even wore them to celebrate American holidays in Zambia (and for our Texas Trash party). They broke at school on Labor Day. So sad! This year, I had to settle for my shiny candy paint royal blue shoes, still fun.

All dolled-up, presidential campaign songs and 1776 playing in the background, I spent the rest of the day being a law student. At home, I'd spend the day going to a variety of parades, usually to watch my sisters march past, and then go home to swim in the pool until dinner time. After dinner, we'd gather our things for the fireworks. Pop Pop Pop, the popcorn bursts forth from the hot air popper and into the waiting brown paper bag. Calls of "where's the frisbee?" echo out of the back hall closet where some feet hanging outside remain the only evidence someone has ventured inside. "Did anyone count these cards?" the deck is picked up from next to the cribbage board and carefully gone through, "ace, two, three, four...." The old brownish blanket sits in a half-folded, half scrunched-up mess next to the cooler. We head out to the park as the sun looms low in the sky. After parking the car a few blocks away, we pick out a nice spot on the lush green grass and get ready to "ooooh" and "ahhhh." Oh well, when stuff's got to get done, it's got to get done.

It was a fairly productive day, and I did get to see some fireworks! My friend took me to the Berkeley marina for the show. It was a lot different than back home, but still wonderfully 4th of July. The city closes down the street leading into the marina (but offers free valet bicycle parking), so we had to park really far away and walk. The only bad part of the walk was going up the bridge to cross the freeway. Mostly, it was a nice walk. We went all the way down to the shore and stood behind several rows of people sitting on the waterfront rocks. It was jam-packed!

While waiting for our show to begin, we could see the Marin fireworks off to our left and the Richmond fireworks behind us to the right. In front of us, bits and pieces of colored sparkle peaked out as the fog below radiated a pink glow. Those were the San Francisco fireworks.

Finally, our show began. It was a lot different than the shows back home. Ping, wssssh, pop. Pause. Ping, wssssh, pop. One at a time, the fireworks launched into the sky and quietly exploded. We were close enough to see the launch site at the end of the pier, but still didn't feel any booms. About 10 or 15 minutes into the show, they set off all the big booms at once. The force knocked into my chest and I wavered a bit. A big smile spread across my face. All of 5 seconds and it was done, back to Ping, wssssh, pop. I was still really happy to be at the fireworks and enjoying the show. As they continued to launch the singular fireworks, we began to see less and less sparkle and more and more rosy aura. Slowly, the fog continued rolling into the bay.

Though fireworks were still launching, the show was over. My friend and I turned to head back to the car. Half the crowd was already on its way. Holding tight to the sleeve of my puff coat, the rest of me huddled inside it, my friend led us through the crowd and back over the freeway. It was definitely the least climatic fireworks show I've ever seen, but I'm still glad I got to go. It was the Fourth of July after all!



Phone Home - Lil Wayne


Jeannie said...

We cheated on the popcorn this year. Katrina was going to make the hot-air, but then she decided to go along with me and make two bags of micro-wave - it was quicker. We took the cards, cribbage board and frisbee, but got there 1/2 half before the fireworks were to start. Daddy and I walked to see what band was playing because he didn't want to sit that long. Katrina met Ali and her friends, and Wendy held down the spot. By the time Katrina got back, it was too dark to play cards or frisbee. Daddy did smoke a cigar, though. The fireworks were great - boom, whistle, boomboomboom....but it was a little cool, although warm in the sun, to swim. Oh well, two parades, sunshine, cookout and fireworks. A perfect 4th!

goldenrail said...

Jealous, but very happy you had a great Fourth (even without me). Love you.