Sunday, July 3, 2011

The 4th coming 4th of July...

Growing up in Utah the 24th of July Pioneer Day celebration was as grand, if not more so, than the 4th of July. In fact, as a young kid I sometimes got the two holidays mixed up. But I knew they both signaled sparklers and fireworks! Woo hoo!

By junior high I’d figured out which day represented our nation’s independence and which was related to our state’s heritage of coming across the plains. And, I’d also figured out that we could buy fireworks on trips to our grandparents ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming that were illegal to purchase in Utah. So friends sent me with cash and orders for contraband firecrackers. My grandparents were amused but my parents weren’t thrilled about crossing the state line with delinquent children and our stash of fireworks. Thinking back and knowing my parents obedience to all laws of the land, it’s a marvel they let us waste money on illegal (not to mention dangerous) pyrotechnics.

It’s also an odd coincidence that my first two children both arrived on these two July holidays. Especially since they shared the same July 15th due date (but 2 years apart). Andie’s early arrival on the 4th is typical, never wanting to miss a celebration. Perhaps Webb’s 9 day delay was a little reluctance on his part, who wouldn’t be a tad nervous to join our raucous bunch! Ironically, no matter where we are on July 4th there is always pomp and circumstance (which Andie adores) while Webb has never lived in Utah so he doesn’t entirely understand the fuss about sharing his birth day with the Days of ’47 pioneer events.

For a slice of American trivia, did you know that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July in 1826, fifty years after the adoption of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence? The country took their July 4th deaths as a sign of America’s divinity.

“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.” -Robert J. McCracken