First, Happy Fourth of July!
May we celebrate our freedom and independence, and may those individuals, organizations and agencies who would act to take those liberties away fail.
Second, I continue to snicker at Lake Ozark which allows the sale of fireworks within its borders, yet prohibits the use of fireworks. Just seems oxymoronic, or ironic, or hypocritical or just not right.
And not to single out Lake Ozark completely, but how about the dozens of fireworks stands that abound at the lake where incorporated municipalities deny their use.
Third, the pox on the do-gooders who think they know more about my safety, my well-being and my life choices than I. There are 535 of them in Congress and one in the White House who apparently believe that I (and we) can't make good decisions.
But it's the Fourth of July, my friends, and lets take the high road. Let's stand tall and be proud of who we are and what we have. Thousands before us fought and many died for our liberties.
My sister and I, and my children, were raised in small town America. The heart and soul of this country, where small businesses continue to reign supreme. Where God-fearing people have values and standards that guide their daily lives.
For example, my parents gave me the right to play with fireworks because they believed, based on their good training and guidance, that I and others like me would survive. And we all did.
It was my grandfather's proud tradition early every July 4th morning to awaken the neighborhood with an M80 or Cherry Bomb. Those marvelous miniature sticks of dynamite could do a lot of damage to one's hand or one's belly if the timing was just wrong.
My dad continued the tradition as well. Our home in Hamburg was two miles from the Missouri border and just 20 minutes from Rock Port, Mo., the northwest Missouri king of fireworks stands. It was almost better than Christmas, pawing through the thousands upon thousands of snakes and sparklers and Lady Fingers and Black Cats. Marveling at the aerial salutes and the bottle rockets and Roman candles.
By the time I had settled with a family in Corning, the negative-nellies had made it illegal. We managed to sneak the big stuff across the state line as bootleggers, and only once did the police break up our party.
The kids scattered with sacks of fireworks into the nearby cornfield, while we adults feigned ignorance. The police politely warned us.
Those were the days, my friend.