My 4th of July: 1976

The 4th of July brings back memories of being a kid growing up in a LA suburb in the 70’s.  Life was pretty good.  The summers were hot, the barbecues were going   and when the firework stands went up, there was a special excitement in the air.

Ohhh what to pick!

Ohhh what to pick!

In those days our parents didn’t worry when we were gone from early morning til dark.  We didn’t have cell phones.  We spent the 35 cents to ride the bus to the beach, or .25 cents would get you an entire day at the local pool.

In those days we played with matches, lit our own sparklers, firecrackers and watched as our dads lined the tables with all sorts of goodies that would light up the night.  We didn’t wear shoes and someone was always cut or burned, but we hosed it off and kept on truckin’ as the saying went in those days. We didn’t were sunscreen or bicycle helmets and digging gravel outta your knees when you ate it going over a  rickety bike jump in the back ally was a right of passage even for the girls.   We took turns watching for traffic on our street as we practiced doing hand stands on our flex skate boards {mine was green and yellow swirls.  🙂

There were water fights, secret meetings in the giant tree house in our yard, and hide and go seek games that lasted late into the night.

The fish was frying, cornbread was baking there was a pig buried deep in the ground that my dad watched over for a full day as is baked and a huge kettle of corn on the cob. The neighbor ladies carried in huge bowls of potato salad, slaw and baked beans.  Beer and sodas were on ice in big tubs, and there was a kid sitting on the ice cream maker literally freezing their butts off while another one cranked it until their arm wore out.


Making ice cream











All this may sound a bit out of place for a girl raised in LA, but my parents and most of those I grew up with were all from the south, and that’s how we did it.  Once the food was gone and the fireworks were over, my dad busted out the guitar and my mother or a family friend was at the piano, there was a fiddler and even someone on the spoons… it was a regular hoe down, or our own version of Hee Haw.


Just another fun filled day

Just another fun filled day


Life was pretty damned good and we never forgot what the day was all about.  We raised our flag, counted our blessings and mama made sure we knew that we were living in the greatest country in the world. I am pretty damned proud to be an American and this is still the best county in the world regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on.

Save Prado Dam The Biggest Patriotic Mural in America


Times have changed; fireworks as we knew it are a thing of the past.  Our kids can’t go 10 feet out the door without GPS strapped to their ass and their phones in their pockets, layered in sunscreen… Even though those days are past, I like to remember them and the good feeling that those long-lost dog days of summer bring me, because you can’t help but smile.

So Keep on Truckin, fire up the Q and finally, God Bless America


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