Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

One of Those Days

You ever had one? One of those days? Sure, you have. Maybe you even had one today. I did.

Let's back up.

When I was a kid, I loved the Fourth of July. For one thing, I, an Oklahoma lad, was obsessed with all the cowboy shows on TV--and in the 1950s there were myriads of them. Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, the Range Rider, the Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hickok, the Cisco Kid ... I could go on. Anyway, for a few years in my mid-boyhood, Dad would give each of his three sons a new cap gun for the Fourth--complete with some rolls of caps. There's a picture of the three of us somewhere, standing in my grandparents' back yard, all of us brandishing our new "weapons"--and holsters!

I, of course, was thrilled, for now I had some props for the continuous play I was performing (in the leading role of course). I was the cowboy protector of Enid, Oklahoma, and no black-hatted dude had a chance in our neighborhood--though, I'd now admit (some 65 years later) that none really ever tried. Still ... maybe just my reputation sufficed to keep the outlaws away from Glenwood Park.

We also got some firecrackers and sparklers--though Dad handled all the more serious stuff, like the rockets we would fire off in the back yard.

Later, as I was about to turn twelve, we moved to Hiram, Ohio, which then (1956) still had a lot of woods and semi-wildness about it. Lots of places to be a cowboy--or Robin Hood (another favorite). But what I liked even better? The Hiram Fourth of July Celebration. Parade, ride on the fire trucks, ice-cream social, free movie in the evening up at the college, fireworks after the movie down on the college football field. We also had a Hot Stove League baseball game in the late morning, a game which I got to play in a couple of years. One year, I hit a homer--only, I admit, because the centerfielder was out of position. Still ...

When our son came along in July 1972--just a couple of weeks after the Fourth--it seemed that his birthday became a part of it all. He loved the fireworks later on, though one of his earliest experiences with them--up at a Tribe game at the old Cleveland Stadium--terrified him. Still, we always tried to make sure he got to see a parade, a fireworks show. We often had a cookout.

Once he grew up and moved away and married and had his own family, our Fourths were correspondingly diminished. We'd sometimes go see the local fireworks--but we haven't done so in a few years. The last time, in fact, was when our son and his family came up to see them. We tagged along.

This year, we'd planned on a quiet Fourth. Some reading and writing. Then maybe go for a drive somewhere.

But last night I started feeling poorly, and this morning I wasn't much better. So all I've done is lie around (a couple of major naps) and feel a little sorry for myself. Joyce has worked all day on a variety of things, hovering nearby to make sure I'm okay.

And I am doing a little better--well, enough, anyhow, to sit here and type this on a laptop.

But this year, I fear, the Fourth, for me, has been "just one of those days."


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