Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Every 4th of July morning for forty+ years, I woke up to the sounds of John Phillip Sousa playing at highest volume on the record player. I knew before I even emerged from my bed that I would find my father with a beer already in his hand, preparing the food for the dozens of people who would come to our house to celebrate his 4th of July birthday. No one loved his birthday more than my father, and 4th of July has never been the same since he died in 1997. How I miss that man! He was my soulmate, my cheerleader, my drinking buddy, my favorite storyteller, my guiding light. And so I woke up this morning, early, here in Chautauqua, to a deafening silence. I lay in bed, remembering all those 4th of Julys now past. The runaway Roman candle. The clambakes on the beach. The WWII veterans marching up our street with pots on their heads and broomsticks at their shoulders. And always John Phillip Sousa booming.

Last night, the Chautauqua Symphony played an incredible concert, and I felt as I watched it that it was tailor made to honor my dad. Lots of Sousa. Anchors Aweigh. God Bless America...

Wherever you are today, raise a beer to my dad.