We all have our July 4thtraditions. Cooking out on the grill with friends while the kids splash around in the pool is the standard All American Norman Rockwell scene. Fireworks light up the night sky, precious children mesmerized by swirling sparklers in their hand, all while the beautiful young couple basks in the glory of the moment, with loving smiles on there faces….ahhh America.
And then there's us .... Where we come from, we have a little bit different scene to say the least. Our beach house on St. George Island, Florida is where we spend our holiday week boiling peanuts, doing a low country boil and both with a few cold beverages in hand. All my life there has been a 4thof July parade on this small barrier island just off the Forgotten Coast of Florida. Back in the day it was a civilized parade of boats on trailers, trucks, a real “parade float” or two and more trailers and more trucks, all lead by the SGI Volunteer Fire Department with lights and sirens blaring. We would run out of the house as soon as we heard the sirens blaring and new the parade was coming. Back then we sat on the end of our cars a look out for the beads and candy thrown from the passing redneck on the trailer and every now and then one might get hit by the rogue squirt gun vigilante. It was a simple and peaceful way of life…ahhh.
Fast forward to 2019 and all of the above is still the same, add some golf carts to the mix, but add water and more rednecks with BIG squirt guns and it is all out war! And when I say water…I mean a lot of water! For about 15 minutes it is an all out frenzy and barrage of water and chaos, all the while eating boiled peanuts and having a cold beverage. Rednecks on the trailers and boats, try to out soak the rednecks on the side of the road like 12 year olds at a slip and slide birthday party. We found that the five gallon bucket half full of ice cold cooler water is the most effective way to reach maximum coverage on the victims. Many times we are repelled by seasoned soldiers that got the ice water bath last year and find pleasure in returning the favor. I must say, it is rewarding, and in this heat, refreshing.
Later that evening, after the hamburgers and hot dogs have been grilled and the sun has set, a second round of immature and irresponsibility craziness begins. You see, every vacationer from South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia stopped at the fireworks stand on the way down and bought the $1,000 mortar package and have been waiting for the moment they can light the fuse burn through that purchase in about 15 minutes. Most explode in the air, but there is always some that go off on the ground due to user error and a few too many dives in the cooler. One year when the economy was strong, it looked like the invasion of downtown Baghdad up and down the beach. It is a sight to see.
We wish you all a safe and fun 4th holiday and please be thankful we still live in the greatest country on earth! If you feel like getting in a water fight, they start lining up around 10:30 and light the fuse at 11 am. Hope to see you there.
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