Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fireworks

Today my wish is that everyone in the world had the freedom to vote for their own government, knowing their vote would be counted.

May I have more than one wish, please? Thanks. I also wish everyone had a source of income, a home and a chicken in their pot.

It would at least be a start. When we're free and fed, it's easier to make peace.

I never thought of those things when I was a kid in DeKalb, Illinois. On July 4th, we'd hop into the station wagon and head over to Hopkins Park. We'd find a good spot near the band shell (the old one) and spread our blanket on the grass, maybe near people we knew, maybe not. Everyone in town came out to hear Dee Palmer lead the DeKalb Municipal Band. When the Sousa marches started, everyone--adults and kids--laid on their blankets to watch the show in the sky. Maybe the adults were reflecting on freedom, maybe not. I was just being dazzled.

Thursday night I got to see the Altadena Town & Country Club's fireworks, viewed from the back yard of friends who live across the street. It was a lovely party with great food, interesting people and a beautiful setting (torches included).

The kids were so excited to see fireworks! And it was an impressive show, during which I did not reflect on life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. I giggled all the way through it because the kids were so delighted.

There's a new band shell at Hopkins Park, and the The Municipal Band, still led by Dee Palmer, plays Sousa Marches on Independence Day in DeKalb. Some people sit on the shiny new benches, some lay their blankets on the ground. Regardless of their ages, their concerns or their hopes, for a little while they just listen to the music and watch the show in the sky.

17 comments:

Laurie said...

Beautiful thoughts, lovely woman. I'm so glad I got to giggle right along with you the other night.

Happy Fourth!

Dina said...

This is such a touching message, Petrea.
Yes, freedom can become fuzzy or fleeting, like the subject of your picture.

Shell Sherree said...

Freedom can mean so many things. The chicken may not be so happy with the arrangement. ;)

Happy 4th July ... peace and blessings.

altadenahiker said...

Shell is reminding you it's a minefield out there.

Lovely post Petrea. As always, your heart is showing.

--- and, you brought back some good midwestern memories.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Who are the torchers after? Hope the poor guy is Ok!

cieldequimper said...

Beautiful message. Happy 4th of July!

Jean Spitzer said...

Love the image and the thoughtful words. I think building community feeling, as you do in your blog, helps make a better, more caring place. Have a happy 4th!

Petrea said...

Thank you all so much. I was so touched by those kids. They were just screaming with delight.

And imagine my own delight when I found a video of Dee Palmer on the web. He is so loved in DeKalb. A boy I grew up next door to (now a man, of course) is in the DeKalb Municipal Band and will be playing tonight under Palmer's direction at Hopkins Park.

And Jean, thank you, though I have to add that we all build that spirit. I remember when people said the internet would isolate us. It seems to have done the opposite, don't you think? Or rather, some of us have chosen to use it for good instead of evil! Which is to say, to build community.

Linda Dove said...

Just a lovely picture! So glad you all could come. And Sousa marches? That's the 4th to me!

marley said...

Beautiful post.

JM said...

Beautiful thoughts, Petrea!
Happy 4th of July!

Virginia said...

Well said Petrea. We are indeed blessed to live right here in the good old U.S. of A. I love your photo as well, just spectacular. Happy 4th to you and yours. I can almost hear those rousing Sousa marches!!! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the "community" you have fostered here.

BTW, there are "fireworks" on my blog today of another variety. Geezzz, for the love!HA

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Lovely thoughts and a nice photo !! Great art..Do check my another blog also i.e.Unseen Rajasthan

Ms M said...

Thank you for your good words and fun photo. Your post brought back 4th of July memories for me, too.

Lynette said...

Wonderful post, filled with nostalgia and joy, thankfulness and thought.

Anonymous said...

I just came back from listening to Dee Palmer and the DeKalb Manucipal Band tonight!Quite an experience! Can't believe that he's almost 100 year-old!

Petrea said...

Anonymous, I can believe it, because he was already old when I was a kid! (Or at least I thought he was.)

Thanks for reporting. How was the concert?