I hope y’all had a good 4th. We did. We spent it with wonderful friends who invited us to go with them to the Palisades Parade. You can see more photos here. It was a festive neighborhood event; I had a grand time sitting on the sidewalk with the kids, catching candy (and sometimes being whopped in the head with it), hollering for beads, grabbing stickers, and fanning myself with campaign literature. Here are a couple of cute pics:
Imagine my delight, though, when I randomly stumbled upon an old account of a 4th of July spent long ago on the banks of the Charles River, with other good friends who are near and dear but, actually, no longer quite so near. This is for you Sunshine Sisters! I miss y’all!
“Well I must say that the 4th of July Sail-A-Bration was quite an event. I am sure that we disrupted the holiday cheer of many people, but I think that if you’re not bugging someone you’re not having a good enough time.
We floated around in our tied-up sailboat all afternoon long. It reminded me of the time I tried to convince my father that we should all celebrate the 4th by parking his speed boat on its trailer on the street in front of the neighborhood park and all climb in wearing Hawaiian flowerdy shirts and drinking Bud Heavy out of cans. It was my attempt to send a don’t-fuck-with-us message to the members of the neighborhood association who were dismayed that my dad wanted to leave the boat in our neighbor’s driveway overnight. Such trash would not be tolerated by my parents’ new neighborhood-with-rules.
I wanted to fight back, because I thought it only proper that we educate these people so that they would understand that we could be far more improper on purpose that they might ever imagine we were unawares. But of course we didn’t. My parents are too diplomatic for all that.
All of those memories came flooding back as I sat in a sailboat with no sail that was tied to the dock in a row with many others — they filled rapidly with patriotic celebrants decked out head-to-toe in red, white, and blue. My favorite was the fat blonde woman who had on a red and white checkered blouse that would have made an excellent picnic table cloth and who struck me as someone who would know all the words to Lee Greenwood’s `God Bless the USA.’
Anyone who was at Pearl Harbor would have cringed had they seen all those boats in a tidy little row.
We spent the afternoon reading trashy mags like Us and some other British tabloid, and singing along to a terrible DJ who played nothing but songs from the 80s that we all made fun of while singing every word.
The highlight of the evening was, by far, the piped in music by the Boston Pops, complete with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (and, of course, LeeAnn Rimes). M and her friend E from New York have always dreamt of a Merman Tabernacle Choir, and so in honor of Ms. Merman we made their dream come true. During the patriotic sing-along we all broke into a rousing round of `America,’ `God Bless America,’ `This Land is Your Land’ and more, all while doing our best Ethel Merman impersonations. I must admit that M is quite good. I’m convinced she practices on her own for just such occasions. My favorite part was when the entire boat, in their best Merman, serenaded me with `You’re a Grand Old Fag.’ As we belted out the homo, the free, and the brraaavvve I felt certain that the table-cloth-clad woman would wallop us with her enormous bright red Vera Bradley handbag, but she left us alone. What is certain, however, is that not everyone around us was nearly as entertained by our singing as we were. I’m not sure if it’s because they are just boring people or because, unlike us, they had not bothered to smuggle vodka into the festival in a Nalgene bottle. It’s not my fault if some people come unprepared for fun.”
I wish I had pictures from that day; I’m sure they are in a box somewhere. Maybe, much like this old story, I’ll stumble upon them one day.