Sunday, July 5, 2015

the happiest 4th

The 4th of July was very special for us. Jimmy said, "It's like Christmas without the shopping".  July 4th, 1976 was the first time we went out in public as a couple and didn't care who knew about it. We sat on the back lawn at Phelps Memorial Hospital and watched the Bicentennial firework displays from all the little towns that lined the Hudson River from Tarrytown south to Manhattan. Mostly. I was just thrilled to be beside him. He brought my car up from where we had left it parked and the back seat of the VW was completely filled with potted azaleas snatched from the hospital grounds.
Once we moved to Georgia, we missed NY style celebrations. The towns just didn't do fireworks the way they did in NY. And no place on earth did it like NY in '76.

The Inn at Crystal Beach in Destin was one of Jimmy's proudest accomplishments. He was Superintendent of interiors and was posted there for six months in 1997. Every other weekend the boys and I would drive six hours and spend the weekend with him, but on July 4th the boys stayed with friends and I flew down. He met me at the airport with a bunch of boxes under tarps in the back of the truck and mischief in his eyes.
the boxes turned out to be fireworks.The kind you generally don't set off in your backyard..He dragged the boxes down to the foreground of this picture and, by sunset, we had a bunker dug and the fireworks arrayed just above the high water mark. You could see up and down the beach. 

As the sun settled into the ocean people began setting off their displays and the crowds applauding approval. Jim waited until it was just past  this blue hour to start setting things off. It was wonderful and terrifying at the same time. When it was over he took me up on the roof of the building where we could see all the displays put on by the local municipalities up and down the coast and make some celebration of our own.
...(these are borrowed shots, but so close to how it was).

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