Red, white and blue is everywhere

What’s not to like about Fourth of July week?

It’s finally summer. Baseball, thank God, has the sports calendar to itself. Gardens offer up strawberries; orchards, cherries. Banners and bunting sprout in red, white and blue.

One of my first memories is sitting on the cool grass of the golf course at dusk, anticipating the fireworks. I hail from Hannibal, Mo., a.k.a. “America’s Hometown.” Mark Twain’s boyhood home lives up to the nickname with a week-long celebration known as National Tom Sawyer Days.

Roadside bunting. Photo by Bud Meyer

There’s a parade in my hometown, with marching bands, a Tom and Becky lookalike pageant, fence-painting contests, and a mud volleyball tourney played in Mississippi River muck. My sister calls it “Americana on Steroids.”

Luckily, I’ve enjoyed the Fourth in many places: Missouri, Massachusetts, Maine. And right here.

Rappahannock does it right. I’ve been to public readings of the Declaration of Independence in local churches. I always associate a Rapp Fourth with the swishing, sonic wash of fireworks ricocheting across the Thornton Hills venue.

Wherever it’s celebrated in the U.S. of A., the Fourth is a unifying holiday. It’s a day to count our blessings, including the privilege of living here in the “Jewel of Virginia.”

So…Happy Fortha Joo-lye! Strike up the band!

Larry “Bud” Meyer
Chair of the Foothills Forum