230 years today, happy birthday USA. What a long strange trip it's been (nod to the Dead, the band with the best 4th of July song ever) and although not all's well with our Grand Experiment, we still rock harder than any damn country on the planet.
In no mood to grovel or gripe, I lead you to Oliver's post of Declaration (in it's entirety, as relevant today as it was then) and some interesting trivia from AmericaBlog about the National Anthem having four stanzas (Who knew? Apparently Isaac Asimov did).
I doubt Jimi Hendrix knew but he proved the US does indeed rock harder than any other place in the solar system:
My own Fourth involved watching heavy gray clouds roll down the mountainside and dump rain on our parade, buckets of water that we badly needed and I was glad for it. Big drops blessing dusty streets hissing with thirst, a steadied hand holding the shaky wrist that tipped a shot to lips craving relief. Families crowded beneath shelters, huddled together against the chill, wrapped in the smoke of grills, frisbees and softballs stowed hopefully on long, damp tables.
We gathered around my parent's table, passing plates and bowls, sauces, "Can I have" this and "Pass me" that, steak sliced into chewable pieces for little mouths, soy sauce dumped liberally on white rice.
My brother, drunk and self-involved, screaming at his kids and smarmy with conservative talking points (with me biting my tongue with facts), then him driving off in high dudgeon, screeching the wheels of his Escalade to seek the bottom of his Smirnoff bottle. I don't know what it is about our nation's birthday that demands drunken stupidity. The wee ones savvy enough to walk away and seek out better energy, sparklers and running up and down the sidewalk in bare feet, splashing puddles hard hard hard. Anger is the dominion of "adults".
Stole to the back of my parent's house and called The Babe, shared some non-information, said "I love you" - silence.
Little drops on my windshield for the drive home, spat spat spat, drops and lots of emptiness. Plenty of red and blue lights on the way home as our city's finest dealt with whatever American anger drew the 911 call.
All the fireworks I saw. That was my Fourth.