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The Fourth of July

by Dennis M. Myers, 07/3/2019

My earliest memories of the 4th of July are of the family gathering on the shores of Lake Pulaski (in my hometown of Buffalo, Minnesota), and watching the fireworks from the beach. I remember the crowds, which looked huge to me back then, but now as I think about it, really weren't that much. Buffalo only had about 3,000 people back then. It's over five times larger today.

My favorite memory of the holiday so far was the one I celebrated in Las Vegas with my cousin, Lenny, and his family. I had my two teenage children, and we had flown to the desert for the week.
During the course of events, the phrase "The temperature is down to a hundred and twenty" was said.

My kids scolded me for taking them to the desert in the summer.

"We should go and visit my cousin, Tom, next Christmas," I said. Tom is Lenny's brother.

"Where does he live?" asked my son.

I smiled. "Alaska."

Groans all around.

Some years later Lenny passed away. I still miss his presence in my life. But I don't think anyone misses him more than his wife and daughter. As I write this, his daughter is in the hospital. She just had surgery. Nothing too major, but it's still surgery. So I just wanted to shout out, and let her know that she is on my mind as we head into this holiday. I'm remembering that hot summer, and it still makes me smile.

I hope all of you out there have a wonderful holiday. Pay attention to your family, and cherish the time you have with them. Celebrate our nation's birth together.

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