The 4th of July!!!!! Does this mean the summer's half over? I haven't even gotten a toe in the ocean, eaten a greasy sausage sandwich or had a ride on the "Wild Mouse." C'mon!!!! Slow down!!!! This is another one of those holidays that doesn't call for a whole lot of effort on our part.....unless you're holding the barbecue. It's also a holiday where the meaning sometimes gets lost. A few hundred years ago some folks got together and decided they'd had enough of King George and his taxes. A lot of brave, committed people died in the next few years. And here we are. Like Christmas, Memorial Day, Easter, Thanksgiving.....we forget. Try to squeeze in a minute or two to reflect on what the 4th is all about. It'll give you a proud feeling in your belly.
I've had a lot of rockin' 4th's. From selling flags in the Plainfield parade, to a variety of band gigs, to almost blowin' my fingers off a number of times..........yeah......fun!!! For twenty two years I had a gig at the Piscataway HS football field..... with the same band. It was sad watching family members "fall away" over the years. Some wonderful memories...that I think I just want to keep in my head. Today I'll be playing at Solitude house in High Bridge, NJ. with a couple of friends. Second year in a row. New tradition? But back to the Plainfield Fourth of July parade. This was a big one. The Philadelphia Mummers would show up!!!!!!! Those boys rocked. One parade in particular stands out. My father was on a float with the Plainfield Rescue Squad..... my future guitar teacher was on a float playing with "The Chevelles" (soon to be "The Critters"...... remember "Younger Girl?" Sure you do.) And I sold a flag to a girl I'd be sitting with in the balcony of the Strand Theater in a few weeks. A box of flags worked almost as well as a guitar! The Chevelles came back to the Rescue Squad after the parade and performed. What a day. Life was never quite the same.
I just moved to Bloomsbury, NJ over Memorial Day wknd.....right on the Musconetcong River and a few miles from the Delaware. Last week mother nature let us know she's still around. The neighbors assured me we wouldn't get flooded out and they were right. A lot of other people weren't so lucky. Most bridges between Pa and NJ flooded . A mess all around. And I had a gig cancelled. Woe is me. See....it's all relative. I'm a big believer in the count your blessings thing. Try it.
So life has taken another turn. This is fun, isn't it? As I look back I can almost see a hand guiding me from here to there. I can never see it at the time, but reflection is a wonderful thing. When you look at the big picture.... things work out. Not always the way you'd like....but it seems....for the best. I've always liked the idea that life is a cosmic joke, and this is merely our time on stage. I still have a lot of questions.......
Well...have a hot dog, suck up a cold beer, wave some sparklers, put your arms around you family and friends and remember a group of incorrigible rebels who roamed the forests of the east coast lo' those many years ago. Thanks boys. Happy 4th of July!!!!! Le's do it again next year.
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