Independence Day - 2007
With all the hub-bub around the city council meeting that ended in the wee hours of July 4th I neglected to mark the celebration of Independence Day here on the blog. I sure do hope you all had a wonderful day - I did.
For the first time in the nearly 34 years that we've lived in our home, our neighborhood decided to have a good, old-fashioned block party and it was a rousing success. We had games for the young ones - and for those young at heart.
We had an apple pie contest, which, for some inexplicable reason, was not won by my sweet wife who makes the best crust on the face of the earth. What do those judges know, anyhow? I think the fix may have been in, because the winner lived in the house of one of the three judges. I must admit, though, the winning pie was spectacular.
Due to the generosity of one neighbor whose heart is as big as his wallet, we had food, food and more food. He provided a BK Burger truck, who served burgers, chips, salads, cookies and drinks to all in attendance. It also provided some appropriate music until well past dark, when the fireworks began.
Speaking of which, we had lots of safe and sane fireworks, overseen by one very responsible young high- schooler. Somewhere nearby the occasional bottle rocket or mortar round were fired off, although I couldn't swear to their origins. They did evoke cheers and applause from the assembled throng. Through the smoke of the fireworks I swear I saw a strange apparition - a guy running around shirtless with a helmet strapped to his head and fireworks blazing away from a long tube welded to the top of his helmet. I hope it was just my imagination, because such behavior - if not illegal - was certainly foolhardy.
We had a "pickle ball" tournament which, after all the elimination rounds were complete, was won by our culinary benefactor and his lawyer buddy. They defeated the pie-baking champion and her boyfriend. In the dimming light, the champ then mixed and matched with different partners and took on all comers, remaining victorious.
In one garage a two-table ping-pong tournament was being held. A retired fire captain, who fancies himself quite a ping-ponger, had all he could handle with the teenagers from the neighborhood.
The glorious day provided a great opportunity for the neighbors to re-acquaint themselves, and to meet some of the new arrivals for the very first time. It was a chance to greet returning neighborhood college freshmen, to hear the stories of their adventures in the year since they flew from their comfortable nests here in Costa Mesa's best neighborhood. It was a chance to admire how much they seem to have grown intellectually since their mother's last did their laundry. The energy of their return always invigorates the neighborhood.
So, a big thank you to all the committee members who rallied to collect the money, get the permits and road barriers, produce those wonderful "A.W.E.some" commemorative T-shirts, plan and oversee the games, coordinate the activities and clean up the debris in the aftermath of a wonderful celebration. I hope we do it all over again next year.
To all you readers out there, I hope your July 4th, 2007 came close to being as much fun as mine was.