the TCC and a spit-swap = the best July 4th

Are there moments from your childhood that are fresh in your mind – as if they happened yesterday?   

Most July 4th holidays from my youth are like that for me – clear in my mind; one for a “rite of passage”  moment and the others for the consistently shared experiences among family.  I had my first adult-like kiss on the golf course at a 4th of July picnic, with a boy who shall remain nameless, while fireworks burst in the sky above us (setting me up with totally unrealistic kissing expectations for the rest of my life).  As for the others, this was a holiday we always celebrated with my mom’s parents, picture below.  

Babuji and Honey - circa 1960

 

For 15 years, we observed Independence Day at the Tucson Country Club.  The club had a stunning display of fireworks every year that went on and on and on.  Nothing I have ever seen since can compare.  

Each year, after an enormous BBQ, the celebration started with 8 foot outlines of political, tv, and sports characters of the day, or meaningful scenes from American History being lit up inch-by-inch in fireworks – it was like watching dominoes of light trace the images and bring them to life.  After that, massive, intricate and colorful fireworks exploded over our heads for that seemed like an entire hour while we oohed and aahed.  The grande finale was always better than the year before.  

And while the fireworks were on display, we would continue to nibble at BBQ remnants; fresh corn, every kind of meat known to man, enough watermelon to swell a belly and invariably, thick, rich brownies.  As was often the case, my grandparents would talk about their adolescence in Nebraska and Colorado.  I heard stories every year, about what each of them did on the 4th of July when they were kids, “back in the day.”   

And though those stories might have become repetitive as a child, now, it is less the details of those stories that I recall and more the “feeling” of being with my grandparents.    

They are my roots, my history, my foundation.  

At the annual week-long reunion of my mom’s side of the family, the conversation turns to my maternal grandparents, as it often does, and my brothers, cousins and I will tell and re-tell stories about them we all know and love; we all still “feel” them – their pull on us, solidifying our determination to see each other every year, despite the varied zip coded in which we live, our commitment to each other and our families.   

I hope that well into the future, my kids will be able to recall with clarity all the memories they are making with my parents today, but mostly that they will be able to “feel” them in their lives forever.  

I love you and miss you Honey and Babuji!

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