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Celebrating the Fourth in hometown


For the past ten years, I have returned to Wisconsin to celebrate the Fourth of July. During World War ll life was stark, everyone was doing what they could for the war effort, my grandmother ran a canning machine putting up vegetables in cans, and my uncle decided they needed a parade.

The parade began with the WW1 doughboys marching down the street, bands played, and then there were games at the schoolhouse. My uncle announced the rodeo with barrel racing and other horse events in the ball diamond and then several ball games were played. Food was served–all contributed by the residents of the town and a few fireworks were shot off.

When I was growing up, we always went to the parade, sat at my grandmother’s house on Main Street, a few handfuls of candy were tossed with maybe a small bag for the entire mile long parade. Then we had a picnic, returning home to do afternoon chores. Dad always hurried with the milking so he would drive us all up to town to park along Shanghai Ridge with a huge bag of popcorn and our one soda each per year. Sometimes it was so cold Mom would not let us out of the car–and with six kids piled in the back it was hard to see anything.

Now, the fireworks are professionally done, the rodeo is gone but there is mud volleyball, horseshoes, and toss the ring on the bottle cap–plus the dunking booth. The parade still has the veterans beginning the parade, flags fly everywhere, and fire engines toot their sirens, lots of tractors, some horse-drawn carriages, and one entry always involved a small tractor hauling ten or so little wagons ending with a child’s red wagon all covered with flags. That man passed away and so that entry is a fond memory but each household still contributes a pie, the locker plant the brats, and a silage company the bottled water. And I’m sure someone donated the beer.

Ball games are played starting with little league and then up to the adults, a band plays dance music until dusk–then the fireworks begin. At one time one of my high school classmates did them–and if I had to guess in those years of a career for him—that would have been it.

Tradition also demands a photo of standing in the corn field. Corn that is knee high is the harbinger of a good crop—and as you will see in the photos–as soon as smugmug uploads them, the corn is head high.

There are a few other photos of the garden that I spent three days weeding.

I always love my time there—

I’ll post the link to the photos tomorrow sometime–and don’t miss the little movies–a steam engine and the band.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. lapaylor #

    that was a verbal slice of American pie. Thanks Sylvia
    LeeAnna

    July 11, 2015

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