Friday, July 4, 2008

Memories of the Fourth

So it is the Fourth of July, and a Friday. I'm pondering if I am up to a 2.5 mile walk to go see fireworks or if I will just watch the ones that go high enough to see them from my house. The Fourth of July has always been a special holiday in my family. My grandparents lived in Massachusetts, and so more than one Fourth was celebrated watching the fireworks over the Boston Harbor listening to the Boston Pops.

But even a stronger memory, perhaps because I was a older, is my memory of the Fourth of July in Nevada City. I can't place what year it was, or even how old I was because my summers in Nevada City, from when I was about 11 until I was somewhere in my 20s have sort of a timeless quality about them. It is one place that truly feels home to me, even though I have never lived there. Anyways, one particular Fourth, as usual with my mother's whole family together it was decided that we would be in the Fourth of July parade in Nevada City.

Wait, you might, say, you mean several weeks/months before it was decided and your uncles put an entry in to be in the parade. No, that isn't what I meant. It was the fourth and it was decided there. We all dressed in red white and blue, my Uncle Saul and I had our fifes (my uncle gave me one) and we headed to somewhere close to the start. I recall Uncle David talking with someone but I am dubious that it was anything official, but shortly after the starting point of the parade my family entered the parade; my Grandma, my Grandpa, my mom, my uncles and me all started marching. We waved at the crowd and played Yankee Doodle Dandy on the Fife and Uncle David proudly announced us as the "Levi Clan" and we marched along the parade as the crowd applauded.

So when I think of the Fourth of July I remember sparklers, my dad setting off fireworks, going to the beach north of Santa Cruz that was like a war zone on the fourth (yes, my friends had mortars, yes the sand was sometimes made glass), good food and friends, but most of all I remember marching in the parade in Nevada City because we decided to.