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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Enjoy the 4th of July

It’s the 4th of July and I’m reminded of the knock out barbecues my father used to host during his pre retirement years. He would go out each year and buy two brand new metal trash cans and enough beer to drown a whale in. Jack’s barbecues were never a BYOB event. Dad always thought that was a cop out for being a cheap son of a bitch when you invite friends and family to your home as guests. We would make the trip to the ice house that morning and load up the cans as if it were a religious ritual. Care would be taken that the sacred Budweiser, Guiness Stout, and every other kind of beer bottles were carefully placed as ice coated them in their resting place only to be awoken from the cold slumber just a few hours later.

Every year the menu for the barbecue would change to impress all of his guests. People came more for the food that Jack would make up on the grill and on the stove in the kitchen than any other reason. He would prepare for the yearly event starting the day after the 4th of July and throughout the year literally keeping a notebook of recipes and ideas from all of the gourmet magazines he read.

When it came right down to it, Mom was the entertainer that always had a full table of listeners and contributors with her lively gift of conversation. While Jack was burning one appendage or another on the grill or stove she would tell the tale of some form or another of family history to which she had a very keen memory of. It helped her story telling having a father that was a bootlegger during prohibition but that is another tale for another day. Everyone at Jack’s 4th of July parties had a great time simply because they were with people they loved to be with.

All that being said, the food was good if not great, the company was always well appreciated and the host and hostess always asking if you have eaten. Good times from long ago.

Now it is your turn to make life what it is for you and your family and friends this 4th of July and celebrate freedom. No two people see freedom the same way and that is the gift that freedom gives us. You can be yourself and so can everyone else.

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday weekend with friends and family, but don’t forget to raise a glass to all of the people that made this nation free. Some sacrificed all and some came home to tell about it.

God Bless America! Happy Birthday…


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