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Flashback Friday ~ Patriotic Memories

It is time once again for Flashback Friday with Linda of Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time. In Linda’s own words:

This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!.

Participating in this meme and reading everyone’s answers is one of my weekly highlights. Grab the button and the link and come play along. Linda’s theme this week is:

With the Fourth of July just a couple of days away, I thought it would be fun to have a patriotic flashback. If you are not a citizen of the USA, feel free to adjust the flashback to your particular country. (I had no idea until someone commented yesterday that Thursday was Canada’s birthday!)

When you were growing up, did your family do anything special to celebrate Independence Day or other patriotic occasions? Did you hang a flag? What about neighborhood or town parades, picnics, neighborhood parties, etc.? Did you attend fireworks displays? Were personal fireworks permitted where you lived and, if so, did your family do them?

When I was a kid the fireworks displays were always spectacular. They were shot off from a barge out on Lake Coeur d’Alene (still are, I think) and everybody in town would line the beach (still do, I think).

Gram and I almost always spent the 4th of July at the City Park and beach. Other assorted family members would join us. I would generally have plenty of cousins around to play with and tons of food to eat. Most of my memories of the day are a blur of sand and fried chicken and Orange Crush Soda, the fireworks and falling asleep in the car on the two mile ride home that seemed to take hours because of all the traffic.

Only one year do I remember shooting off my own fireworks. My dad came and brought a ton of stuff with him, and my brother-in-law came and brought a ton of stuff with him. Most years my cousin Patty and I were just given sparklers to play with at the beach.

One year the fireworks out over the lake were particularly wonderful.  They didn’t last as long as usual, but the last batch was spectacular!   As a kid I stared in awe and was hoping they would do it again — and then I noticed that the adults all seemed agitated and suddenly it was time to go and r was testy …

Only later did I learn that the barge had caught fire, igniting all of the fireworks at once.  The pyrotechnic guy was fished out of the lake minus one leg and suffering 3rd degree burns over most of his body.  There was much talk then of discontinuing the show in future years, but they continue to this day.  I haven’t seen the display in years, but the one here at Friday Harbor reminds me very much of it.


  1. I remember when I was about 5 years old and my parents took me to my first ever fireworks display. It seemed so magnificent and magical back then. I’m sure today fireworks can far outshine the ones from 40 years ago, but in my mind, none can be as breathtaking as the ones I saw as a kid.

  2. Wow, thanks for the great memories! I’ll be that was a great display when the barge caught fire, but it sure was awful about the poor guy getting so injured…Mmmm, orange Crush sounds so good! Have a safe and happy 4th!

  3. Crikey no wonder the show was spectacular – the poor man. I have never been a fan of fireworks since my brother managed to set off a whole box of them in the house! Thankfully no-one was hurt in this case.

  4. Enjoyed your flashback. I still enjoy watching the fireworks, my hubby and I are planning on attending Sunday night after church. They have a nice little display here in our hometown. I love to go and watch the kids, their reactions and their faces. And I love messing with my camera trying to get some good shots.

    until next time… nel

  5. fireworks over the lake…reminds me of disneyworld…their fireworks are awesome, too!
    I’d like to celebrate 4th on the beach sometime, fun!

  6. How cool. Fireworks over the lake. 🙂 It’s like here with them over the ocean. 🙂 It’s the best part of the 4th. There is just something amazing about them. You know I don’t remember any part of my holidays when growing up. Outta sight, Outta mind LOL

  7. Goodness Gracious, Quilly!
    You have a real gift as a story teller! I didn’t see that ending coming at all! 🙂 I remembered when Linda said one of her neighbors had been burnt that a boy I knew in school was hurt playing with fireworks too. Nothing like this memory though! Wow!

  8. incidentally, the 4th of july was rather a big deal in the former yugoslavia too. no fireworks, though, just a day off and some boring commemorations

  9. I wish Hawaii would pass the law to ban private fireworks. It’s caused such harm. The air is fouled for people with breathing problems and dogs go crazy. Why can’t we stop it?

  10. Your barge-fireworks remind me of watching them from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor when my daughter was little – her birthday is the 4th so I used to pretend it was a birthday party (being poor is hell sometimes, other times it works out LOL)

    This is a great meme — it keeps me focused on the fact that I’m making my kids’ memories, right here and now. Hmm… need to come up with something for tomorrow!

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