The Nation's Birthday....
Posted Saturday, July 4, 2020 04:10 PM

From an earlier post....I hope you guys are finding enough safe space to be with  your families and friends as we all get through this awful coronavirus.  Enjoying barbecues and ghost stories.  :-)

Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2017 12:21 PM

It’s 5 July here in Pattaya as the U.S. celebrates the 4th.  I’m Youtubing John Philips Sousa ("The Stars and Stripes Forever"), Don McLain ("American Pie"), and chuckling at a couple of Barney and Andy exchanges (the ones where Barney attempts to recite the Preamble and the Gettysburg Address to a smiling Andy).  Thinking about Raleigh days and those hot sticky afternoons on the Fourth-- neighborhood grills sizzling with ribs and barbecue chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers-- a  feast along with potato salad, corn on the cob, butter beans, coleslaw, deviled eggs, and gallons of sweet iced tea with lemon.  And for dessert--hand-churned peach ice cream.

Mom and Dad would often take us fishing (maybe out to a pond on Judy Pleasant’s dad’s farm near Fuquay-Varina) on the Fourth, or maybe swimming at a crowded Hayes Barton pool--As a kid, I remember shooting hoops there with State basketball players Kenny Rohloff and Jon Speaks in front of lots of pretty girls lying out on beach towels on the grassy bank beside the concrete courts, the girls working on suntans while ogling their handsome Wolfpack stars.  :-) 

Fourth of July dinner began for us in the early evening.  After eating, we kids would go out into the dark summer night looking for our friends, for adventure and to watch the holiday fireworks, even setting off our own bottle rockets and Roman candles and firecrackers--maybe even a few cherry bombs and M-80's (yikes!).

Coley Forest summer nights were right out of a storybook, out of a Norman Rockwell oil painting—catching lightening bugs, telling ghost stories, playing “Booggie Man,” Hide-and-Seek, and Kick the Can.  We grew up on those steamy nights with our pals, listening to war stories of our fathers, eyes widening to the many men in our neighborhood who risked their lives for us, reflecting on a myriad of cultural and differing political viewpoints, sorting out the local gossip and being privy to other families’ personal matters.  We kids dabbled into as much as we could, trying to figure it all out-- even a mixed-up version of the birds and bees  :-)

Watching TV now thinking about the old shows….There are so many favorites:

Rawhide, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Paladin, The Twilight Zone. Thriller, Channel 5's Nightmare (late Saturday night), and  Shock Theater with Dr. Paul Bearer, Sunrise Theater on Saturday mornings (monster movies).  The days of the Beave, Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, Burns and Allen, The Jack Benny Show, Ozzie and Harriet, Ed Sullivan  (especially the night the Beatles were on in ’64). 

Loved Rawhide on Friday nights at 7PM—two hours of neighborhood fun in the dark afterwards and “No school tomorrow!” Gil Favor and Rowdy Yates and then ghost stories and Boogie Man....

And remember those scary movies at the theater.  Two in particular were at the Colony Theater at Five Points-- 'The Blob' with Steve McQueen and Hitchcock’s 'Psycho' with Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins.  For a long while I was afraid of the heater under my built-in desk in my bedroom on Wheeler—doing my homework fearing that the Blob would come oozing through the metal vents at my feet.

The Fourth of July and a little minutiae that might stir up a warm thought or two.  Hope so :-)

Andy and Barney being funny, and Andre Rieu's orchestra playing John Philips Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (in London's Royal Albert Hall of all places) and Don McLean singing his "American Pie".....

Barney Fife The Preamble To The Constitution - YouTube

Barney Fife The Emancipation Proclamation - YouTube

Don McLean - American Pie better quality

Mix - Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillip Sousa performed by Andre Rieu & Orchestra - HQ

Hope everyone is well.


You think we watched a little too much TV back then?  :-)