Thursday, July 06, 2006

My favorite 4th's

We watched the fireworks from the roof of our apartment building. Generally speaking I don’t care about fireworks, although the ones we saw at Disney World 14 years ago weren’t bad. But I can live with them or without. I have never had to watch them buy them or launch them. Just FYI, from about 1977 until recently—please don’t ask me dates—we spent July 4th in Washington or in Italy.

During the Carter administration we watched the fireworks from the White House lawn. The Carter’s may not have been the most effective leaders but they sure were good to the people who worked for them. One of the perks of working for the Carter's was that we got to go to the White House on holidays. Seth never missed an Easter roll or a July 4th celebration. And, of course, because his birthday was the 3rd, he thought it was a celebration of his birthday. We never told him anything different because for us, it was his birthday celebration and I never had to make a cake. After the Carter administration had it’s painful end, we were invited, by some Republican friends, to view the fireworks from the Speakers Office on the Hill. The surroundings were beautiful but unfortunately, we were so close the launch area that it was so smokey we couldn’t see a thing. Interestingly enough, during the Clinton administration, even the most senior appointees without West Wing offices, were never invited to watch the fireworks and although it was possible to finagle an invitation, it wasn’t worth the effort because it wasn’t much fun. It never mattered. We went to the dress rehearsal of the show, and much like the Tony’s it was much more amusing without the security or the tension.

After that administration ended, we invited friends over to the house and watched the fireworks from the top of a street two blocks away. This was pretty good but a little dangerous. Every time a car, not watching the fireworks passed by, they thought it was essential to try to kill someone standing in the street. This often included the Burnett family and friends.

Then, for whatever reason, we were often in Italy on the 4th. They don’t celebrate the holiday but we always had a birthday party for Seth—cake and gelato included—and then we waved flags and sang something that sounded patriotic.

This year, as I said, we watched the fireworks from the roof of our apartment. And you could see them, but Jordan had the best description of what you saw. She said it was like when she saw the Jersey boys on student rush. You could tell something was happening on the stage but mostly all you saw was the outline of the activity. So, with the Trump Tower dead center, we saw the periphery of the lights. After about 15 minutes we went back to the apartment and watched on TV. I had been in the Hamptons with dear friends but came back to the city to deliver my mom’s new companion to NJ. (That’s tomorrow’s blob). Then I came into the city to be with Jordan and her beau.

I didn’t miss being at the Capital or at the White House. That was nice and pretty heady but I didn’t miss it. I did miss being surrounded by our friends, both at home and in Italy. What you come to appreciate when they are absent is that friends are clearly what make any event or activity a celebration. I think we’ll figure something out that includes our pals for next year. Then 2007 will be among my favorite 4th's. We’re just sayin…

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