Back when my mom was just a kid, my grandmother and her friend Helen started the Merrittstown Villagers 4th of July parade. It started small with just a few kids carrying homemade signs and flags, but this year is their 47th year and people come from all around my tiny hometown to see vintage cars, fire trucks, local marching bands, etc. The day's festivities are capped off with fireworks that are set off on the hill that overlooks the town.
The best part about all of this was that the parade route went directly past my house and the hill where the fireworks were set off from was directly behind my house. As far as my kid brain was concerned July 4th was only second to Christmas when it came to best days of the year. All of my cousins, family and friends would come to our house and spend all day there. My dad (a volunteer fire fighter) often drove a fire truck in the parade (I sometimes got to ride on it) and he helped set off the fireworks at night. It was fantastic.
I moved to Columbus, Ohio almost thirteen years ago when I started college and my parents and grandmother followed suit. I haven't been back to a Merrittstown, Pennsylvania 4th of July since my parents sold the house I grew up in, although I've considered it more than a few times. My grandmother was always the one cheering the loudest along the parade route. She passed away almost nine years ago now... somehow it wouldn't the same without her and having to actually stake out a spot for the parade and fireworks? Unthinkable.
I got off on a tangent there. What did I tell you? Nostalgic.
I threw this together fairly quickly today. A rough representation of me as a kid.