Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2003, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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Independence Day

    Today is the 4th of July, or as we used to call it, Independence Day.
    I recall the celebrations in our town on that day of times long ago.
    Folks would rise early on the 4th and go by wagon, buggy and horseback into town. Everyone, especially the young folks, would eagerly anticipate the coming events.
    There was a band stand on the corner of our court park and the band would play all day. They played such stirring music! It thrilled us and made us proud of what the day represented.
    There would be orators who would make long speeches. We young people did not care too much to listen to them! We enjoyed too many other things, like the merry-go-round, powered by a mule. A man sat in one of the seats on the merry-go-round playing a violin and supplying the music for our ride.
    Lemon stands were placed around the park where one could get a glass of lemonade for a nickel. One could hear the chant, "Lemonade! Made in the shade and good enough for any old maid!" There would be tubs of lemonade filled with ice and how good it tasted then. I don't think I would drink it now, though ... made in a zinc tub that way.
    At noon the women folk spread lots of food on tablecloths on the ground and everyone had plenty to eat.
    At the close of day there were fireworks and the folks went home after having enjoyed an old-fashioned picnic.
    Folks now go to lakes and other places of amusements which we could not do in those days. Then it was a welcome break in the daily routine of our lives and a chance to see our friends and relatives. It also gave us a chance to feel and express our patriotism for our country ... another thing which seems to be seldom felt or shown these days.
    On this Independence Day let's try to remember why and what we are celebrating and be grateful for it.

Mellie Smith

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