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Re: OT-What July Fourth Means to Me- Long!

DF: Nah! That's an amazing thing here...as long as you are not into
drugs, violence, pedophilia, pornography, prostitution, stealing from
your neighbors, beating your wife or kids, foreclosing on your
neighbor's farms, or other forms of extreme hell-raising, you are pretty
much okay with us. Long as you don't go getting any fancy ideas of
"growing" our town and making it like a bigger city... And trust me, I
am the most outspoken person around here...well known for saying just
what I mean and not taking any crap from anyone. If Hills can adjust to
me, and they have, very well thank you, then they can take just about
anything. I've never lived anywhere where I have ever felt such a sense
of community and belonging. We're not perfect, not by any means, but we
are sure close enough for me.

Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."    
--Albert Einstein

 --- On Wed 07/07, David Franzman < dfranzma@pacbell.net > wrote:
From: David Franzman [mailto: dfranzma@pacbell.net]
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2004 22:13:56 -0700
Subject: Re: [CHAT] OT-What July Fourth Means to Me- Long!

I need to live in a town like that! I miss ol' Norman Rockwell. I'm
not<br>being sarcastic I really mean it. Course, I'd probably open my
mouth and be<br>run out on a rail but hey the first 45 minutes would be
great.<br><br>David Franzman<br>A Touch of the
Tropics<br>www.atouchofthetropics.net<br>----- Original Message -----
<br>From: "Melody" <mhobertm@excite.com><br>To:
<gardenchat@hort.net><br>Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 2:23
AM<br>Subject: Re: [CHAT] OT-What July Fourth Means to Me-
Long!<br><br><br>> Oh, I think depending on where you live, Jim, it is
very close to the<br>> real thing. In our little town, 4th of July is a
big, big deal. Things<br>> start happening the day before with an all
day softball tournament that<br>> the entire town turns up at sooner or
later. The local bar hosts a<br>> street dance with live bands that goes
on all afternoon and half the<br>> night. Families hang out at the park
all that day and the next,<br>> picnicking and playing. Relatives come
to visit from out of town. Family<br>> parties happening all over the
place. Loved ones home from the military<br>> are treated like royalty
all over town. On the day of the fourth, people<br>> pick out their
parking spots at the park early. The volunteer fire<br>> department
starts early in the morning putting together the show for<br>> that
night. For a town of less than 700 people, we spend an average of<br>>
$12-15,000 dollars on fireworks, all paid for by volunteer
donations.<br>> Half our volunteer fire department pay out of their own
pockets to get<br>> licensed as pyrotechnicians. We have a parade that
the entire town<br>> participates in, one way or another. Lots of
floats, horses,<br>> politicians, candy, and best of all, fire trucks
from as many<br>> communities around as can come (this year it was 8!)
Then by 7 in the<br>> evening, there is usually somewhere in the
neighborhood of a couple of<br>> thousand people milling around in town
as people come from all over to<br>> see our fireworks. It literally
stops the traffic a

ll up and down the<br>> highway. And it is always, always preceded by
the singing of the<br>> National Anthem and the salute to the flag. It
is a very patriotic deal<br>> here where many, many of our young folks
are serving in the military and<br>> many of our older folks are
veterans. This is not necessarily a time to<br>> reflect on all that is
wrong with our country, but rather to remember<br>> that once upon a
time, a few men changed the way they wanted to live and<br>> in so
doing, founded a great nation of people who value independence and<br>>
self-determination. I know of few people who would argue that in
the<br>> USA, for th<br>><br>> ose who are willing to work at it, almost
nothing is unattainable. The<br>> legend that Mr. Reagan chose to wrap
those thoughts up in may not be any<br>> where close to the truth (what
legends really are), but I can live with<br>> the sentiment underlying
the words.<br>><br>><br>><br>> Melody, IA (Z 5/4)<br>><br>> "The most
beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."<br>> --Albert
Einstein<br>><br>> --- On Sat 07/03, james singer < jsinger@igc.org >
wrote:<br>> From: james singer [mailto: jsinger@igc.org]<br>> To:
gardenchat@hort.net<br>> Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 17:38:54 -0400<br>>
Subject: Re: [CHAT] OT-What July Fourth Means to Me- Long!<br>><br>>
Interesting, but hardly the real thing.<br><br>On Saturday, July 3,<br>>
2004, at 10:41 AM, Donna wrote:<br><br>> This was posted on another<br>>
list... Thought some might want to read<br>> it....<br>><br>>
--------------------<br>><br>> What July Fourth Means to Me<br>> By<br>>
Ronald Reagan<br>><br>> For one who was born and grew up in the
small<br>> towns of the Midwest,<br>> there is a special kind of
nostalgia about<br>> the Fourth of July.<br>><br>> I remember it as a
day almost as<br>> long-anticipated as Christmas. This <br>> was<br>>
helped along by the<br>> appearance in store windows of all kinds
of<br>> fireworks and colorful<br>> posters advertising them with vivid
pictures.<br>><br>> No later than<br>>

e third of July -- sometimes earlier -- Dad would bring<br>> home
what<br>> he felt he could afford to see go up in smoke and flame.
We'd<br>> count<br>> and recount the number of firecrackers, display
pieces and other<br>><br>> things and go to bed determined to be up with
the sun so as to offer<br>> <br>> the<br>> first, thunderous notice of
the Fourth of July.<br>><br>><br>> I'm afraid we didn't give too much
thought to the meaning of the<br>> day.<br>> And, yes, there were tragic
accidents to mar it, resulting<br>> from <br>> careless<br>> handling of
the fireworks. I'm sure we're<br>> better off today with<br>> fireworks
largely handled by<br>> professionals.<br>><br>> Yet there was a thrill
never to be forgotten in<br>> seeing a tin can blown<br>> 30 feet in the
air by a giant "cracker" --<br>> giant meaning it was about 4<br>>
inches long. But enough of<br>> nostalgia.<br>><br>> Somewhere in our
growing up we began to be aware of<br>> the meaning of days<br>> and
with that awareness came the birth of<br>> patriotism. July Fourth is
<br>> the<br>> birthday of our nation. I<br>> believed as a boy, and
believe even more<br>> today, that it is the<br>> birthday of the
greatest nation on earth.<br>><br>> There is a legend<br>> about the day
of our nation's birth in the little <br>> hall<br>> in<br>>
Philadelphia, a day on which debate had raged for hours. The
men<br>><br>> gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king
who had<br>><br>> <br>> flouted<br>> the very laws they were willing to
obey. Even so, to<br>> sign the<br>> Declaration of Independence was
such an irretrievable act<br>> that the <br>> walls<br>> resounded with
the words "treason, the<br>> gallows, the headsman's axe," <br>>
and<br>> the issue remained in<br>> doubt.<br>><br>> The legend says
that at that point a man rose and<br>> spoke. He is <br>> described<br>>
as not a young man, but one who had to<br>> summon all his energy for
an<br>> impassioned plea. He cited the<br>> grievances that had brought
them to this<br>> moment and

finally, his<br>> voice falling, he said, "They may turn every<br>> tree
into a gallows,<br>> every hole into a grave, and yet the words of
that<br>> parchment can<br>> never die.<br>><br>> To the mechanic in the
workshop, they will speak<br>> hope; to the slave in<br>> the mines,
freedom. Sign that parchment. Sign<br>> if the next moment the<br>>
noose is around your neck, for that<br>> parchment will be the textbook
of<br>> freedom, the Bible of the rights<br>> of man forever."<br>><br>>
He fell back exhausted. The 56 delegates,<br>> swept up by his
eloquence,<br>> rushed forward and signed that document<br>> destined to
be as immortal as a<br>> work of man can be. When they<br>> turned to
thank him for his timely<br>> oratory, he was not to be found,<br>> nor
could any be found who knew who he<br>> was or how he had come in
or<br>> gone out through the locked and guarded<br>> doors.<br>><br>>
Well, that<br>> is the legend. But we do know for certain that 56 men,
a<br>> little<br>> band so unique we have never seen their like since,
had pledged<br>><br>> their lives, their fortunes and their sacred
honor. Some gave their<br>><br>> lives in the war that followed, most
gave their fortunes, and all<br>><br>> preserved their sacred
honor.<br>><br>> What manner of men were they?<br>> Twenty-four were
lawyers and jurists,<br>> eleven were merchants and<br>> tradesmen, and
nine were farmers. They were<br>> soft-spoken men of<br>> means and
education; they were not an unwashed<br>> rabble. They had<br>> achieved
security but valued freedom more. Their<br>> stories have not<br>> been
told nearly eno<br>><br>> ug<br>>
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