The year of heart breaking forest fires still raging havoc.
The year of memorable drought, very, very hot; very, very dry.
Surely not the year for fireworks, pretty as they are.
The residents of Winterhaven are now preparing for the 44th Fourth of July parade. The parade will still go on, shorter than earlier years. We’ll sing “God Bless America,” a bit off key, but loud and sincere.
The parade will start at 8:15. The Seven Pied Pipers will lead the parade, followed by a huge American flag carried by a long-time resident. Maybe, maybe not, a high school marching band will follow.
Then come the newest residents pushed in strollers. Residents who just learned to walk will come next in little red wagons pulled by parents. Next come the tricycles, the bicycles, roller skates, the skate boards. Watchful parents walk the sides of the parade and at the end.
The route will be short this year. It’s hot already at 8:15. Returning to the starting place at the island, the parade may be met by the cool spray of water thanks to the Tucson Fire Department.
The official ceremony will open with Abe Lincoln in his tall black hat, reading the Declaration of Independence. All those attending will stand at attention while he reads. Then comes music from the musicians and neighborhood singers. Last, but hardly least, are the outdoor picnic tables covered with hot dishes, salads, rolls, watermelon and cold lemonade, punch or water, all with ice.
People will mingle, visit with neighbors and friends, folks they’ve not seen since the last Fourth of July.
Last is the announcement of the winners of the best vehicle (no motorized vehicles allowed), the best hat, the best dressed pet, and the best cookie.
One by one, family by family, people will wander off to home, each person thinking how lucky we are to live in America, land of the free. May it forever by so.
God bless America!