Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day on the Edge of Nowhere

Today our little town celebrated it's 100th anniversary. As the mascot for our local school is the rabbit, at 9:00 a.m. most of the town showed up on main street with paper ears to see if we could set a new record for the number of people at one time doing the 'bunny hop'. We heard later that about 3900 people were in the line.

Getting 3900 people to assemble on Main Street to put on paper ears is something of a feat. Many towns our size would have trouble getting that many people to the parade on a day when they could sleep in. Here, it isn't all that easy to sleep in on July 4 as the local fire department guys cruise around in pickups with a small mortar in the back and starting at 6 a.m. they begin the assault of the sleepy. I am not sure what they are shooting, but it sounds like about a half of a stick of dynamite. They pop them up about 150 feet in the air so the sound isn't wasted. When we first moved here, we were unaware of this service, and my wife was highly annoyed when the artillery opened up that first summer and woke the baby.

After the bunny hop came the overflight of F16s. I am assuming that this is calculated to increase our feelings of patriotism, rather then make us think of any tax deductions that we really weren't entitled to. The planes actually make the rounds at parades all over the state. After they made their double strafing run on Main Street they seemed to be followed by a tanker plane. This is new, and I will be the first to admit that I could be very wrong here, but it was a four engine jet flying fairly low, and we just don't get those here. It looked like a C-130. So if they are going all over the state, they might be bringing the gas station along with them.

We had a daughter and son-in-law come down for a visit, so we had a good time chatting today as well. The social ones of our group (everyone but me) came home after the parade, but went to the park to listen to local bands play. I took a nap and weeded the garden which had gone sadly to weeds in our absence (See Annieofbluegables post on our trip to Taiwan). So it was a good day for everyone I hope. Our youngest son went canal swimming with his friends and then after a quick shower he went to the crash-up-derby.

Demolition Derbies are very popular in this area. This one sponsored by the Lions Club and every year had 3500 or more people packing the stands to watch local drivers crash modified cars into one another until there is only one running. I remember the look of amazement on the face of a young man from Hong Kong one year. He was new to the area, and to this country and not familiar with our customs. I was driving him around town some time after the Derby and the dead cars were everywhere. Dented, squished and not resurrected yet (most cars are rebuilt for several races in a season, and sometimes for several seasons). They have all the windows taken out, the doors welded or chained shut, and the gas tank replaced by a one gallon can. It looked bad. I told him that on our Independence Day we get about 250 cars and organize them into six or seven heats and then they crash them into each other until only one engine is running. He asked me why we do this..... and all that I could do was to shrug.

That was mostly it. We didn't go to the Derby as it is hot, and long. Unless you are cheering on someone in particular, once you have seen one or two of them, you have seen all you need to see. But then I feel that way about all of the _____ball sports as well. So maybe you shouldn't use me for a guide. We did drive down and watch the official fireworks after the Stylist and the Student lit off the rest of the package that they had brought down. And a good time was had by all. Time for bed now. The dawn is already scheduled.


AnnieOfBlueGables said...

I am so glad you blogged on this. I knew with the 14 days of our trip to write about that I might not get to the 4th of July too soon.
I loved the part about the flying gas station. lol
love you

Mike said...

Good to hear what you have been up to! Thanks for the post.