Happy 4th of July

Here we are!  We are at the first and only holiday of the summer.  I love the summer.  I love the heat and the full trees and most of all I love the 4th of July.  Nostalgia sets in and I can’t help but to go back to the late 70’s and 80’s when I was growing up on the Westside of Chicago.  Oh my goodness what a good time we had.

Thinking about going to my Dad’s house and celebrating my older brother’s birthday and getting a new short set.  Man, those were the best of times.  We would go to the movies and get huge bags of cheese and caramel popcorn and eat it until we had stomach aches.  We would light firecrackers and catch lightning bugs and then we would eat barbecued hamburgers and chips and drink pop until we were stuffed.  Those were the best of times.

We never really had a family reunion, but I went to family reunions with my friends and I saw them in the parks and forest preserves.  I saw girls jumping double-dutch and boys playing softball.  I saw families with bright yellow t-shirts marking the year and bearing their names.  It was great.  Even if you were not part of the family they made you feel like family.  You got to blow bubbles and hula-hoop with everyone else.

If I knew then what I know now I would have cherished those days just a little bit more.  I would have captured them in pictures and in writing.  What a grand time it was.  How I wish that we could offer up the same thing to our children.

If we can have just one weekend without senseless killing and shooting.  I wish for that.  I wish the kids could play and not worry about being hurt.  I wish the parents could let the children go to the movies and eat cheese and caramel popcorn and not have to worry about if they are going to make it back safely.

I had summers filled with fun.  I wish the same for our children.  I wish, I hope, I pray.

Happy 4th of July.

The Writer


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