Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to celebrate the Fourth of July

(part 1)
....at least, others may think so.....

Growing up in the Boston area the 4th of July  was "kind of" a big deal.  After all, Boston was one of the centers of colonial dis-satisfaction and home of some the more colorful rabble rousers  Founding Fathers of the American Revolution.  It is also the home of the Boston Pops and their annual concert on the Esplanade.  With conductors like Arthur Feidler, John Williams and Keith Lockhart, this local tradition turned into a nationally televised event.

One that many of us avoided like the Bubonic Plague.

Watching the preparations could be fascinating.  The fireworks barge being set up on the Charles River, road traffic being re-routed, spectators camping out in the wee hours of a muggy July morning in front of the Hatch Shell to claim a spot of lawn with their picnic blankets.  There was also the prospect of laughing at watching all the tourists try to figure out how to navigate the maze of roads and decipher the weird unique dialect that makes Boston such a frustrating  fun town to visit.

Did I mention the spectators?  As in the MANY spectators? As in the thousands of spectators who crowded the trains, buses and trolleys of an already crowded public transportation system? At rush hour.

Did I mention the humidity? As in the HIGH humidity?  As in the sticky, clinging, oppressive, makes you glad for just a puff of breeze mugginess that comes from living in a cement jungle next to a large body of water?

Did I mention the tourists?  As in the CONFUSED tourists? As in the lost, dazed, befuddled, can't figure out rotaries, trains, or how to parallel pahk a cah tourists?

Plus the fact that my parents had 4 kids to corral, none of us being particularly good at sitting on a picnic blanket for hours on end waiting for a bunch of  people with instruments to start playing music we weren't ready to appreciate at an hour when we were normally in bed.
So we did what many of the locals do on the 4th ....let friends from out of town park in our driveway so they can brave the public and the public transportation system, then sit in the fan-cooled living room with our burgers, corn on the cob and non-sweetened  ice tea or coma inducing sweetened iced coffee.  
And watch the entire concert,  complete with the 1812 Overture and fireworks galore.......that was happening within a few miles of our house.......on T.V. 

Thanks to my parents wisdom in skipping a potentially scarring event on our country's birthday, I now love celebrating July 4th.  So much so that I could have a weeks worth of activities planned to celebrate the birth of our country and the many other key events in our history that center around this one day in July.

And I can still watch the Boston Pops, with my buger and iced coffee.....on T.V. 

...'cause I didn't miss the class on that!

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