Sunday, July 03, 2011
My 4th of July Feeling
I got up bright and early Saturday morning. I had some coffee and glanced at the paper. I got a bottle of water, I powered up the camera and headed out the door en route to Van Buren Street next door. I very quickly noticed that something seemed amiss.
There were no cops. There were no barricades at the top of the hill. There were no......runners. Seeing as how nothing much gets past me, I quickly suspected that the annual Firecracker Fast 5 K race was actually going to be run on the 4th of July this year and not on Saturday. A quick visit to the Internet confirmed my suspicion. Thus began, in such an inauspicious fashion, my Fourth of July weekend.
Granted as far as screwups go, I have committed far worse. But I have to think that I must have looked pretty stupid standing out on Van Buren with Nikon Senior as the only other folks out at that hour seemed to be the usual yard sale type ladies going up and down the street looking at the classifieds as they drove. Which seems more dangerous than texting and driving if you think about it.
This weekend is going to be a scorcher. My friend Marge over in Jackson, distraught as she is after losing a jury trial last week, has rethought her earlier plan to go lie in the street. Too damn hot. So some good did come from this. I would hate to lose her. Especially in such a ridiculous fashion.
My plans are pretty simple. NV and the boys are coming over Saturday night. She has graciously included me in celebrating the happy fact that her oldest boy Paul got into the Honors College at the University of Arkansas. The young man wants me to cook hamburgers on the grill. OK, son. You got it.
Other than that, going to play a little golf, watch the Gentleman's Final tomorrow morning at Wimbledon and join friends for dinner. Maybe try to catch up on my reading.
And take pictures of the runners on Monday morning.
We do take all of this for granted, you and I. I have written about this before but it bears repeating on the 4th of July. I do not understand the campaign rhetoric that suggests that our freedoms are somehow being "eroded." I can pretty much do whatever I damn well please as long as I can afford it, it doesn't hurt anybody else and is otherwise legal. So can you.
I can have whoever I want over to my house. I can pretty much keep anybody out. Assuming they are not carrying both a badge and a warrant that is. I can watch what I want to on TV. I can go to church to hear a patriotic sermon on Sunday or I can refuse to go because I find patriotic sermons stupid and/or borderline dangerous. I can read whatever I can put my hands on. An old friend called me late last night. We talked for sometime. Unlike my latest pro se lunatic, I reasonably believe that my phone is not tapped. I can stand out on the street with a camera without being questioned by the authorities. Indeed, there were none to found when I stepped out early Saturday morning.
We take our freedoms for granted. But that's different from being paranoid about them. We take them for granted because we can.
That's because all of the men and women out in the Veteran's Cemeteries across the world wore the uniform in defense of rights and freedoms we enjoy today.
I have a couple of buddies who served in Iraq. I'm going to send them a message Monday thanking them for their service.
I can't think of a better way to celebrate the 4th of July.