Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July: East Meets Mid-West

This is the first time I have not been on the east coast for the 4th of July. Here in Chicago it seems a much purer experience. There is hardly a hint of patriotism, every house isn't flying the stars and stripes, there is no heated debate about who was better Thomas Jefferson or George Washington (there are still rather strong feelings on the subject in Virginia...if you want to get to know someone at a party it is considered a perfectly legitimate question T.J./G.W.? , ...some people claim they can tell, have a radar-like-sixth-sense for sensing republicans, gays, jews, or Jeffersonians).

There is no pretense about the holiday here in Chicago, it has nothing to do with time, history, nation, independence, or flags. They don't even celebrate it on the 4th. All the real partying happens on the 3rd, that is when the city does all the fireworks and everyone has parties. I had to ride to work at 7 am today and it was quieter than a Sunday morning. Everyone takes the 4th as a day to recover from the 3rd, and set off the fireworks they didn't get to last night.

Technically I have been hearing fireworks since May, but since Friday the explosions have been non-stop in my neighborhood. People do not even wait for night fall. The streets are littered with wasted rockets and little fire crackers. Last night 2 little boys were trying to light some fireworks on the sidewalk. They could not even lite a match they were so young. I watched them try for 2 minutes. I wondered if I should help them. ---I grew up in a state where the only fire works you could buy were sparklers, you had to cross the boarder into West Virginia or N. Carolina to get anything worth lighting. (It was also illegal to buy liquor on Sundays.) So part of my native conservative soul still feels fireworks are as bad as liquor. Helping them light the match would have been like giving the 6 year olds forties. On the other hand the Virginian in me would have easily lit their cigarette.

4 Comments:

Anonymous TeknoH8ting said...

i'ma go with tj cause gw is anti-environment (the cherry tree).

10:11 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

But what about the fact that the cherry tree is an invasive species?

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Alliance for the Commingling of All Races (ACAR) said...

Jefferson's efforts towards promoting acceptance of interracial relationships have been indispensable to our cause.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous ? said...

does A.C.A.R. have a website I can check out?

6:46 AM  

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