Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July Independence by Grandma Ruth

Hi all, Grandma Ruth here from the Gluten-free Baker's Treat Mystery series. As you know I've been a girl reporter from way back in the early thirties - yes, young ones the 1930s. I was the first female reporter for the Oiltop Times. It was a part time gig to help bring in extra income. My husband was a used car salesman in Wichita and there wasn't much call for that during the depression. Since I only had two years of college behind me, I was assigned the really good stories-like the Fourth of July Parade and band concert. They could never get enough of fire crackers and John Phillip Sousa. (If you don't know who he was look him up on Wikipedia.) Those were fun times. Floats were built on hay wagons and some were horse drawn while others were drawn by farm trucks or tractors.

It was during the Great Depression and dust bowl days were upon us. But Oiltop was in a bit of a boom due to the giant oil field it was built upon. We had two refineries going with double shifts and people could make a living in the dust. Even so many of our farmers and their sons went off to join the Civilian Conservation Corps to work for the government building dams and roads.

Hard times or not, we drew together on the Fourth of July to celebrate our nation and our freedom. I had gotten a hold of a second hand camera and gone around taking pictures of folks as they decorated their floats. I often tried to dig up juicy stories, but those were nixed by my editor who thought  a woman's place was in the home not causing trouble. He would later assign my stories to Grant Harding the lead reporter at the Times. Meanwhile I was assigned household tips and cooking articles. Now anyone who knows me knows I'm not much into household cleaning or cooking, but it didn't matter. I did the job and I did it while feeding Grant tips to get the story of the day.

Thankfully things are better for women these days. My granddaughters all have their own businesses. I'm proud of them. Oh, we still have a Fourth of July Parade that ends with a band concert in the concrete band shell, but these days even a woman in her 90's can publish an investigative report on school funding mishandling, political scandals and yes, even the occasional murder. The best news is that we don't need the approval of a man to do it. We can publish them ourselves on blogs,  Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Yes, indeed independence is alive and well in the USA.
What is your favorite Fourth of July memory?

45 comments:

  1. Our Small Town Parade and the ever popular Synchronized Lawnmowers. Last year I got to see my Mom in the parade and her Garden Club won 1st place in the Community Division. Seeing my Mom dressed as a tree with sign on her back saying Kiss My Ash was priceless.

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    1. Wow, that sounds like great fun! Love synchronized Lawn Mowers.
      Cheers, Nancy

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  2. Sparklers - and all the kids dancing around the yard with them when it was dusk. It was magical!

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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    1. Karen,
      I love sparklers - we used to be in our jammies and dance around outside waving them.
      Cheers, Nancy

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  3. In Wilmington we used to go downtown and watch the fireworks across the river at the battleship. Good times.......dspinlexo@aol.com

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  4. Standing on the front porch and watching my hometowns fireworks from a block away. suefoster109@netzero.net

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  5. Spending time with my Grandma on Cape Cod.
    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

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  6. Watching the parade with my Dad

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  7. When I was young 4th of July celebrations started from the weekend before and lasted through the weekend after the 7th. July 7th was my grandpa's birthday and he was always up to party. Tons of food, egg toss, water balloon toss, jarts, and more. He would have been 99 yesterday.

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

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  8. Watching fireworks and having bbqs. areewekidding@yahoo.com

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  9. Huge fireworks show at Skyview Lake, in Norfolk, Ne. My parents lived only a few blocks from the park, so we could walk over and watch the fireworks. They were amazing. dbahn@iw.net

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  10. my favorite Fourth of July memory is spending them with family & eating as many hot dogs as I can!!! LOL!!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  11. My favorite Fourth of July memory is spending it at Disney World watching the most incredible fireworks I have ever seen!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  12. Christina M. from KSJuly 8, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    My step-dad would always buy tons of fireworks, we stayed up late to watch all of them go off! We would also have a BBQ and got fresh vegetables out of Grandma and Grandpa's garden! I usually can't have any fresh vegetables without thinking of the Fourth of July!

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  13. Family cook outs at my grandparents. I really miss those.

    bevarcher AT me DOT com

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  14. Summers spent in Montana as a kid. We always had big fourth of July parties.
    Dnrocker@yahoo.com

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  15. Family bbq with all the trimmings, catching lightning bugs while the adults talked.
    rjprazak6@gmail.com
    Becky Prazak

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  16. Family picnics and watermelon!

    lkleback@hotmail.com

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  17. Best memories are when I spend time with my family.

    xzjh04@ gmail.com

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  18. Cold wedges of watermelon and then fireworks at Andrews Park!

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  19. bar-b-que and then going to the city park to watch the fireworks.
    txmlhl@yahoo.com

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  20. Time with family.
    CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

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  21. My Dad taking time from his hard work on the farm to spend time with us, shooting off firecrackers, and we got to have soda pop on the Fourth!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

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  22. Being with family at the beach was the most special 4th ever. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Spending time with the family is precious. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. The 4th of July parade in town the finished at Memorial Park with music and speeches. And band members passing out from standing in the heat in their wool uniforms!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  25. Being with family and friends always means happy times.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  26. BBQ

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  27. My best 4th of July memories are when we were up in Alexandria Bay and could watch the fireworks from the boat. Oh it was so much fun. kphans08@gmail.com

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  28. My Grandfather was born on the Fourth so the whole family gathered at their house. Bar-B-que and potluck!! An uncle always had us run around the house ten times so we had room for desert. There were big open fields between the house and the school where the fireworks were so we had a great view. :)

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  29. Definitely the annual fireworks show. Raquel36m (at) gmail (dot) com

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. When I was young, we went to the local swimming pool, Crystal Lake, where they had a fireworks show every year. They had the ground displays and air displays. Too bad the bleachers were cement. They were still the best shows I ever attended.
    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  32. It's been years since I did anything on the Fourth of July. When I was a kid or teen I went with my friend and her mother and maybe a few other people to see the fireworks downtown. In other years I may have gone to the beach and had a picnic beforehand.

    I would've watched the Macy's fireworks on T.V. this year but our cable doesn't have NBC anymore (one of those disputes where they want more money to broadcast it) and we haven't had it since December!
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. Oh my..I absolutely adore this character. She is an awesome character. Loved reading this blog post.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

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  34. My favorite 4th of July memory is or going out on a boat to watch fireworks.

    spigootz9@hotmail.com

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  35. Favorite memory is lisening to the Boston Pops on the Esplanade as they played the 1812 Overture accompanied by fireworks.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  36. My favorite memory is watching fireworks with my best friend. It was fun! We were teens and it was before we had kids. :)

    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

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  37. Don't know if it's a favorite just yet, but my recent Fourth of July memory is the Dewey Duck Race of 2014. Dewey has been having their duck race since 2005 - this being the 10th year. Dewey Civic Association sponsors the Fourth of July fun at the local park. The Lions Club cooks up the hot dogs and hamburgers, there is a band preforming, the DCA gives out free watermelon slices [don't know how many melons were cut this year, but a lot], and then there are fireworks to cap off the evening. The ducks are the traditional yellow, pick, and blue rubber yellow duckies for the bathtub.. They are numbered and sold (well, the ducks themselves aren't given out, just the number), and when it comes time for the race, water is run down a drainage ditch. The ducks are poured into the beginning and then they float down the 'river', having to circumvent some obstacles including a wooden allegator's mouth trying to gobble them up. First duck at the finish line wins first prize (this year a flat screen tv), and then there are some 2 or 3 other prizes, and one even for the last duck. Everyone is back behind tape so no one can help or push the ducks along. Quite a turn out - more than 1000 ducks.
    donna {dot} durnell {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

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  38. Hi All,
    Thanks for all the great comments. Loved all the stories. Wanted to answer each one individually, but got tuckered out after the first.
    My author will be picking a winner and posting in a couple of hours.
    Be back soon with another great story from Oiltop.
    Grandma Ruth

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  39. we try to go to different firework displays every year. we live in a small town so we go do different surrounding bigger towns. really enjoyable
    mardox@consolidated.net

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  40. Love the 4th---just sitting on the front step watching the world go by in the July heat.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  41. I used to love fireworks
    Debby236@gmail.com

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  42. My nephew's fourth birthday We had a little party for him and then went outside to see see the fireworks. Keep in mind he is an Independence baby. He laughed and scream that so many people would come together to put on such a great show for him.

    DelAnne
    InsprationalAngel@hotmail.com

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