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Here comes the Food, Family Fun, Fireworks, Picnics and Parades !!

But, first of all remember that the Fourth of July was originally created to commemorate the FREEDOM we use every day...Fireworks and parties are what makes it fun! Let us remember those who fought and STILL fight for this freedom.

On July 4th 1776, thirteen colonies claimed independence from King George III. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. John Hancock was the first to sign it. The youngest signer was 26-year-old Edward Rutledge. The oldest was Benjamin Franklin who was seventy. Most signers were in their 30's and 40's. This was the birth certificate of America. Two hundred copies were made and only 26 remain. On July 6 1776, the Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first news paper to print the Declaration of Independence.

The National Anthem was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. It originally was his poem by the name of Defense of Fort McHenry. Key had witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the war of 1812. Using a spyglass, he spotted an American flag still waving over our fort.

The poem was set to music to a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith....To Anacreon in Heaven,,,a men's social club's constitutional song. It has always been known as a difficult song to sing and it is said that if Key had not suffered from a deafness problem, he would have no doubt written a more sensible rendition of the tune. Our National Anthem was declared as such on March 3, 1931and actually has FOUR verses (anybody want to try that one ?!).

President Herbert Hoover signed it as so. Then there was Paul Revere who merely asked for a SOFTER saddle!

Hang on Ladies....there was a female in there somewhere that had a big influence on our nation. She was Betsy Ross who sewed our first FLAG.

On June 14, 1777...that flag was adopted as the symbol of our Nation. (Let's proudly wave our American flags MADE IN CHINA.)

Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson served on the committee that picked the EAGLE for our national seal. Franklin actually wanted the TURKEY. Good thing, they turned that one around !!

Did you know that the BALD eagle is not and never have been bald. Back in the day, the term BALD meant white-headed. Their maximum speed in flight is 40 miles per hour and over 100 mph while in a dive. I believe that, Folks....the way they dive bomb my metal roof after squirrels and small birds!!

That reminds me of the time I was driving down the road and a hawk carrying away a squirrel hit my van windshield. I don't know who's eyes were bigger...mine or the hawk's or the squirrel's! AWKWARD !!

Okay, on to a favorite subject: FIREWORKS..... in 1777 they were called firecrackers and by 1880 sparklers were created. Goodness knows, we have certainly advanced to all levels of fireworks up to the present day. What is scary...can we actually differentiate FIREWORKS from GUNSHOTS ??

Evidently REAL Americans don't need ten fingers to love their country. With the consumption of alcohol and blowing off one's fingers, most of us wouldn'ttrust some of these jokers with a GLOW STICK!! No offense to all who wish to have a good time...just make it a SAFE TIME !!

Cousin Clarence always had a dream of owning a fireworks stand. He tells me that the guys with eye patches and THREE fingers sell the best fireworks!!

Baby Jamey loves to eat the black magic snake remains...I guess he thinks they are burnt French fries. Talk about a SUNDIAL IN THE SHADE!

Aunt Polly refuses to let Uncle Festus bring his dog to their picnic...she swears that ole Rover went to a flea circus and stole the show....

Uncle Pete posted a reminder: Please light your fireworks away from our FLAMABLE shorelines. What bugs Cousin Polly is the fact that folks start buying and shooting them off weeks before July 4th. Her dog and cats are a mess and hide everywhere they can find a safe spot in her house. The Harrison twins love to set off strings of firecrackers under her bedroom window around midnight. After spending two hours trying to release her fingernails from her popcorn ceiling...we then had to disconnect the cats from her nightgown. Overall....Uncle Festus plans on using his ROMAN CANDLES on those twins when he finds them!! Bottle rockets included!!

Festus doesn't play with firecrackers anymore since last year when the string got wrapped around his wedding ing and the crackers blew up in his hand. We all had just enough butter to slather on his wounds but we could do nothing for the half melted ring!!

Sparklers are not particularly a SAFE item either. Have you ever touched that metal wand when it's all through shooting sparks? EEEE-OWWWW !!

Yep, Nothing says: Let's celebrate America quite like drinking and playing with explosives....please be careful folks...have a good time, but be careful!! Shooting fireworks into a dry field or wooded area is not too smart. Make sure you take plenty of BLANKETS and a HARDHAT if you play stupid.

If you can't laugh at yourself...call me...I'll be happy to laugh at you ...says Aunt Martha, who still doesn't have enough nails for a manicure....

By the way, the most favorite food item on the Fourth of July is the ever famous POTATO SALAD!! Red, white and blue Jell-O shots for the Brewsters. The forever forecasted weather is RAIN....naturally. Let's hope that this year is spared.

Remember that the Smithville Jamboree is July 1st and 2nd. It is their 45th year...try and attend it....lots of great music, talent and craft vendors....plus yummy food booths !! Take an extra bag with you to tote home some unique treasures and treats!! For the best pyrotechnic show with fireworks go to Nashville, who is always in competition with the Macy's display in New York City near the Brooklyn Bridge.

Aside from blowing up outhouses, my gang will have a great celebration and we wish all of you the same. Be careful...enjoy your family and friends...and Hey, let's take a break from complaining about America and just be thankful for our forefathers and what our nation is today. Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Article written June 28th prior to July 4th


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