Fourth of July

Watching the nation's fireworks show over the National Mall for the second year, all I could think was, "Wow. This is the one time of year I think I will actually always miss New Richmond."

It seems every Fourth of July, I've still remembered how great it was to sit around that pond to watch the fireworks. Richard Franklin would be nice enough to go out early with blankets to stake out our spot. We'd hang around until late afternoon at the house (usually Shel's), then go down to get food at the fish fry, an elephant ear, a lemon shake-up, play some silly games where you could win a 2-liter of soda, a goldfish or something equally as useless, and you always knew you would run into some people you hadn't seen since school let out in May because EVERYONE went to New Richmond for the fireworks.

It was nice. It was the middle of summer. There was always that one ground firework with the annoying whine, loud boom and flash of light at the end that I HATED, but then there would be the waterfall firework to make up for it. I loved waiting to see what character would be made out of lights at the finale with the "See you in 19XX" tag. And most importantly, when it was over, you knew you still had a whole month and a half left before school started again.

I can't remember the last time I was in New Richmond for the Fourth, and I know that it couldn't feel the same now. There's no more summer break, and it's back to work tomorrow. There's no hope of seeing the person you had a crush on that year. It's not really exciting to be able to stay up past midnight anymore ... but I still remember the feeling those things brought when I'm watching fireworks on the Fourth ...

Other notes from the day:

The outcome of the Cubs/Nats game was not so nice from my point of view, but it WAS nice to finally see a game at RFK that actually seemed to have fans. I think there were about 39,000 there. Usually it's somewhere like 22,000 ... and in that stadium, 22,000 seems like it's only about 5,000. Horrible.

Am I mistaken in thinking that the nacho cheese is a given when ordering nachos? Today, I tell the woman at the concession booth that I want nachos with jalapenos. My standard order. This time though, she brings me back a tray with ONLY tortilla chips and jalapenos. I look strangely at them, and say that I want cheese, too, to which she says, "Oh, well you just said that you wanted nachos and jalapenos." I said, "Well, yeah, I didn't know I had to specify cheese." Weird.

I've always kind of preferred to go to the concession stand to get my food at the game, and today I witnessed the reason my subconscious has told me to do so. The guy with the hot dog contraption came huffing and puffing up the steps toward me, and I looked over just in time to see sweat drip from his brow down onto the packets of ketchup and mustard. Nice. Beer is maybe OK, but you know they're sweating down into that ice water those cans and bottles are in, too.

I'll leave you to ponder that.

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