Celebrating the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July, everybody. We were up in Ojai with daughter Liz and soon-to-be son-in-law Ron for the annual parade and then we went over to a neighbor’s party for a short while. Anyway, we are now back home in LA and I can hear the boom of fireworks not too far away. I am probably missing quite a fireworks show, but would need to climb out on our garage roof to enjoy it, I suspect. After watching a small-town parade for 1 1/2 hours this morning, I feel as if I’ve done my July 4th duty. I’m content to be sitting in my den, writing to you instead.

The Ojai parade is pretty low-key. People start putting chairs out on the edges of the sidewalks a week in advance and the chairs just sit there until the morning of the parade. That is how small Ojai is. This was our second year at the parade so we already knew of a spot that had a low rock wall where we could sit comfortably during the parade. We arrived an hour early so we could secure this prime viewing spot. We were close to the beginning of the parade, which we decided was good since we’d see all the floats while the people were still fresh. Sure enough, the marching band, the drum corps and the Hare Krishna folks all seemed to have lots of energy as well as the dance and martial arts troupes, which performed along the way. Not to mention all the people waving from the vintage cars and tractors and from the floats for the various schools, sports teams and veteran organizations. Plus, there were lots of people on horses, skates, skateboards and bicycles that were part of the festivities. Quite an impressive array.

Wow, there is even more booming going on now. Of course, the City of Beverly Hills probably has a fireworks show, plus the City of West Hollywood and both are nearby. I mean there is QUITE a racket going on outside. I might have to go look, at least on the sidewalk. Back in a minute.

Well, I’m back and from the street I can’t see one Roman candle in the sky. The whole city sounds like it is exploding with fireworks – and it probably is – but to no avail from my spot in the universe. That’s okay, of course, though I suspect it is quite a sight. I heard a fellow on the radio today say that he had flown into LAX just as all the fireworks went off all over the city on July 4th last year and he said the effect was magical.

I believe it’s great for us all to get out and celebrate our Independence Day. It helps to remind us of the basic tenets of our freedom as a nation. It also serves as a reminder that our society is made up of a vast array of ethnicities and our diversity is one of the reasons we are a great nation. As our forefathers stated in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is the true American message and we must never forget it.

Happy 4th to us all!

Ray, Liz, Ron and Len

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