Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day


Happy Independence Day

DeclarationIt’s once again the anniversary of the day the United States of America declared its independence from Great Britain, and for those of us in the states it is — as it should be — a day of celebration and festivities. Barbecue pits are simmering, pools are being cleaned, beer is being iced and fireworks are waiting to be lit.

Before you do any of that, though, let’s try to remember what it took to get us here.

Read this. Even if — especially if — you’ve never read it before.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them, and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to all the dangers of invasions from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing taxes on us without our consent;

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these colonies;

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments;

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrection among us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

WE, THEREFORE, the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


A wonderful week with a wonderful girl

Erin and I have been together for quite some time now… since before the days when Facebook and Twitter (and now, I suppose, Google+) were hard at work keeping everybody appraised of what everybody else was doing at any given moment of the day. As a result, I sometimes worry that my compositions telling the world how we enjoy our adventures together have become redundant. But I enjoy telling and sharing, and I know Erin enjoys it as well. So while you may well know an awful lot of what I’m about to say if you follow us on those aforementioned social networking sites, that’s okay. It was worth living all over again.

  • Erin arrived on Sunday, July 3. This wasn’t a trip that was planned months in advance — just a few weeks ago, Erin realized she could sneak in a visit with me and my family in time for our annual Fourth of July extravaganza. Being an extravaganza on the Fourth, though, that meant there was an awful lot of work to do on the Third. After I picked Erin up from the airport and got us lunch, she was sweet enough to help my mother watch my niece, Maggie, while I joined my father, brother, and brother-in-law in assembling the tents for the barbecue and taking care of other such preparations. After it was all done, we went out for dinner and then headed our to the St. Charles Parish Independence Day Fireworks, held (as always) on July 3. We got there a little later than expected, however, and Erin and I joined my sister Heather, her husband Will, and little Maggie on the side of the interstate watching the fireworks from a distance. And despite some mosquito invasions, it was still great.
  • Monday was the bash. My family has had these barbecues for as long as I can remember, and once again Ama was flooded with Petits, Faucheuxs, and numerous other families that have married into or befriended ours over the years. There was — as always — way too much food, but there was an unexpected surprise this year. My family has done this for over 30 years, and on all but a handful of occasions, the event has been soaked by rain. This year: not a drop. So we all got to swim, there was a marathon Pictionary session, we ate several herds of grilled animals and several vats of homemade ice cream, and everybody went home happy.
  • On Tuesday, the excitement calmed down, Erin and I got down to a more conventional visit for us — beginning with helping to babysit Maggie while my sister was at work. Maggie was little more than a month old the last time Erin saw her, and now she’s close to nine months, so she was looking forward to playing with her again. She also introduced Maggie to her friend Wash T. Dynosaur, the traveling Apatosaurus. After Maggie settled down we headed out — I got Erin (and Wash) a snowball that matched the pendant I gave her for her birthday, we did a little shopping, and went to see what has become my favorite movie of the year so far — Super 8. I’ve seen it before, but Erin hadn’t, and she was very satisfied in her choice of film. (She also got some Raising Cane’s chicken, something she can’t yet get in her home state of Pennsylvania.)
  • Wednesday was the day we began to get adventurous. Erin, being more of a traveler than I am, was looking to do things we’d never done before. We decided on a tour of Destrehan Plantation, one of the many gorgeous old plantation houses that line the Mississippi River here in Louisiana. I’ve been to the Plantation many times for various events, but I don’t think I’d ever taken the tour before, so we both got an education before heading out for some more shopping (it was Wednesday, new comics had come out), then meeting up with my family for dinner at the Quarter View restaurant in Metairie.
  • Our adventures continued on Thursday as we traveled to Baton Rouge, a place Erin has wanted to go for some time. We realized early that we would have to do this again, as there were just too many things to do in that lovely city than we could accomplish in one day. We did manage to get lunch at Cheeburger Cheeburger, found a used bookstore Erin located online, and hit the Mall of Louisiana. Later, we met up with my brother Chip and his wife Kayla, who live in nearby Gonzales, and they took us to a great Mexican place for dinner. It was a great little visit, especially since (living in Gonzales as they do) they don’t get to join us as often as the rest of my family.
  • On Friday we headed into the French Quarter in New Orleans, something we’ve done many times before, but always enjoy. But my friends, I’ve got to tell you something. Friday… was… hot. I’m talking about “gallons of sweat cascading down your face” hot. After a few hours walking around and talking pictures of Wash at local landmarks, we headed off to the New Orleans Area for our next “new thing.” Will — an athletic trainer whose job happens to include working the New Orleans Voodoo arena football games — got us tickets to the team’s final home game of the season. We met up with Heather there, bought some dry Voodoo shirts to change into (we’d sweat through our other ones) and enjoyed the festivities. The Voodoo didn’t have a great season, but we had fun.
  • Saturday was the day we got together with my friends, something we try to do at least once each time she’s in town. We met up at Izzo’s Illegal Burrito (it’s as good as it sounds) before heading back down into the French Quarter. After a few hours of wandering around, we decided to find some place a little cooler and went into Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. With our semi-regular Vegas trips, Erin and I are old hands at casinos, and we find we really do enjoy doing them together, especially when we come out ahead. The rest of our group didn’t fare as well as we did (sorry about losing that parking garage ticket, Mike), but we put in $20 and came out up $139. Not too bad. Afterwards, we all had dinner at a new TGI Friday’s that opened in Metairie — good food, but you could tell it was a new restaurant. The servers were overwhelmed. I’ll go back to the restaurant, but not for a few months.
  • Sunday was the day Erin went home, which is always sad, but was made worse in that she had an early flight. We managed to have lunch before I had to take her off to the airport and fare her well, but it wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is. We’re going to see each other again in just a couple of weeks, when we travel to Maine together for a friend’s wedding.

It was a great time, and as always, I’m left more in love with her than ever. If you spent a few minutes with her like I have, I know you’d feel the same.

Here are some photographic highlights of the trip. If you want, you can see more in my Flickr album: Family Summer 2011.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Happy Independence Day!

It’s July 4 again, my friends, and if you’ve been here for a while, you know the Petit clan has a major shindig every year on this date. That means I won’t have time for even a marginally entertaining post.

So instead, I leave you with the most patriotic thing I can think of in pop culture at the moment: the trailer for Captain America: The First Avenger. I’m really psyched for this movie, guys — the trailers look awesome, director Joe Johnston has already made one fantastic superhero World War II movie (The Rocketeer, damn you all), and I give this trailer a buttload of credit for using the tagline “Heroes are made in America.”

Because hell yeah.


The Real Start of Summer

Well guys, I’m happy to report here that summer is starting — really — for me today. Not long after school let out back in June, I had to start taking a summer class. (You may recall me talking about how awesome Erin is for putting up with that during her most recent visit.) As of yesterday, my class is over and I’ve got just about a month left before it’s time to go back to school as a teacher. So my one-month summer is really beginning now.

How will I spend it, you ask? Oh, boy, do I have a lot on my plate. I’m going to try (try, not promise) to finish Summer Love before I get back to school. I’ve got another writing project I’m working on as well, which will probably be quicker, but more involved in a lot of ways. Also, you may recall a while back I asked who would be interested in listening to an audio version of Other People’s Heroes. At the time, I was planning to do a “full cast” audio drama based on the book, with the help of some highly talented and incredibly generous volunteers. Unfortunately, for reasons I can’t get into just yet, I recently found out that isn’t a feasible project, at least not with OPH. I hope to get to do that some other time with some other story, but right now is the time for Other People’s Heroes. So very soon, like tomorrow, I plan to start recording the novel a segment at a time, basically reading the book myself, as I did with A Long November. It’s been a year and a half since ALN, though, and I’ve learned quite a lot about audio recording and production. I’m probably going to wait until I have all — or at least most — of the book recorded before I even start editing, production, and ultimately, release. But I intend to keep you posted on how it’s going.

So I’ve got a lot to work on. And I’d better get to work. But before I go, let me leave you with some photos of the Petit Fourth of July Blowout from this weekend, the highlight of which was a round of “Patriotic Pictionary” my dad envisioned, which turned into a five-hour long game of standard pictionary after we ran out of  the Patriotic terms he had me come up with. It was a blast.

Setting up the tarp with true southern engineering

Setting up the tarp with true southern engineering

Chip tests Dads Washers game

Chip tests Dad's "Washers" game

Heathers enthusiasm bubbles over

Heather's enthusiasm bubbles over

Kayla and Aimee meet Sandies new puppy, Jack

Kayla and Aimee meet Sandie's new puppy, Jack

Taking time to digest lunch

Taking time to digest lunch

Norman here is the state high school wrestling champion. How is he at Washers?

Norman here is the state high school wrestling champion. How is he at Washers?

Wally prepares the Pictionary board

Wally prepares the Pictionary board

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

"Truth, Justice, and the American Way"

This is either half a cows udder or a strange-shaped map of the US

This is either half a cow's udder or a strange-shaped map of the US

The clue? Millard Fillmore. Alex just likes drawing dollar signs.

The clue? "Millard Fillmore." Alex just likes drawing dollar signs.

You can tell thats Paul Revere at the top because he looks just like him.

You can tell that's "Paul Revere" at the top because he looks just like him.

Just dont ask.

Just don't ask.

Benjamin Franklin. No, seriously.

"Benjamin Franklin." No, seriously.

Chip and Kayla take advantage of the 100-degree heat to chill in the 90-degree swimming pool.

Chip and Kayla take advantage of the 100-degree heat to chill in the 90-degree swimming pool.

More photos in my “Friends and Family Flickr Album“!


Happy Independence Day!

To my fellow Americans:

233 years ago today, a remarkably brave group of men began signing a document that could have been their death warrant if they failed in their goal: to gain independence for the American colonies of Great Britain. They fought… bled… died. And for over 200 years, those of us who have come afterwards have been trying to live up to their example.

So no snark. No jokes. Out of respect for them and all those who have come since, I offer a very sincere Happy Independence Day.

We’ll be firing up the grill any moment now, so today I just offer you this: a quick look at some of my favorite patriotic comic book covers, to enjoy the day. And you can check out more at a classic EBI column, #222: Comic Covers From Sea to Shining Sea

The Rocketeer: The Official Movie Adaptation


No time to blog…

No time to blog today, guys. Tomorrow is the Petit family’s annual July 4 barbecue blowout, and that entails a heck of a lot of preparation, so I’m going to be busy. Why don’t you go back and look at the photos from last year’s bash? Those always make for good times.

Still rebirthing

And it’s not like the barbecue is the only thing eating up my time. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff lately on “Project Rebirth.” I found out a few days ago, sadly, that I wasn’t going to be able to do one phase of the project the way I’d intended — some legalese on another phase is actually preventing it — but that’s not going to stop it from getting done. In fact, it may wind up getting it done sooner. Once I finish my summer class next week, I’ll have the rest of July to work on recording things with an eye towards release in the fall. Did I say “recording”? Um… look, just ignore that. I don’t know why you’re reading this anyway, I’m far too busy to get any blogging done today.

Vinyl Fun

Oh, and I’m glad to announce my sister, Heather, has finished her first original Vinylmation project. I’ve mentioned the Disney Vinylmation toys in some of my Toy Story articles in the past, but if you missed those, they’re basically little collectible Mickey Mouse figures that are released in various designs and varieties, which my brother and sister are heavily into collecting (and I’m lightly into collecting). What’s really cool is that they also sell blank versions of the figures, allowing artists like Heather to create their own designs. Here’s her first, based on the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willy:

In progress...

In progress...

Almost there...

Almost there...

Steamboat Willy!

Steamboat Willy!

Heather has two more of the three-inch figures and a blank nine-inch that she’s working on. This sort of thing makes me wish I had a little artistic talent. I’d love to do one of these, but I know I’d wind up making a big, blotchy mess. Better to share the pics with you guys and point out how cool they look than ruin one by attempting to touch it myself. When she’s done with the other figures, I’ll be sure to show you guys how they turned out.


Hmm… interesting. According to the official WordPress blog, July is “National Blog Posting Month.” The only criteria is, evidently, that if you have a blog like this one, you post something every day. Nice idea. Wish I could participate. I’ve already blogged on the first two days of the month, after all. But like I’ve said, I just don’t have any time to blog today.


Toy Stories: American Heroes for an American Holiday

With the July 4th holiday coming up this weekend, things will be hectic. My family always has a ginormous barbecue on Independence Day, and my online time will probably be brief tomorrow as well. So this is going to be my big post for the weekend. Independence Day is important to me, and to my family. Yeah, we have fun, but more than that, we respect it as a day to commemorate those who have fought, bled, suffered, and died so that we can get together and burn massive quantities of meat once a year.

Some people love their country only when it’s convenient. We love our country especially when it’s not.

Anyway, enough preaching. Let’s look at some toys. In honor of the U.S. of A., I thought I would wheel out some more G.I. Joe figures today, including the new incarnations of old favorites.

Yo Joe!

As I mentioned in an earlier Toy Stories feature, I often forgot that General Hawk was the actual leader of the G.I. Joe team. He’d often take a backseat to the field leader, Duke, when the spotlight came around. As I got more into the comic books, though, the ones written by the creator of this Joe team, Larry Hama, I started to realize just how great a character Hawk is. Tough, strong, proud — a leader in every sense of the word. The Joes may have looked to Duke in battle, but they got their courage from Hawk.

You dont even remember me, do you?

Even though Sgt. Flash here was one of the first Joes, he faded into the background quickly, never becoming as popular as Duke, Stalker, Scarlett, or Snake-Eyes. Honestly, the only reason I even remember him is because I distinctly recall having the original figure back in the day. I really got this figure mostly for nostalgia’s sake, rather than a love for the character like the rest of these figures.

Im number three! Im number three!

I'm number three! I'm number three!

I have much fonder recollection of Flint here. Flint was third in command of the Joes, after Duke. He was a good soldier, but not quite as uptight as Duke could be. This was the leader more likely to crack a joke. This particular Flint figure is a reproduction from the character’s “Tiger Force” days. Tiger Force was a total effort by Hasbro to release more toys at a minimal expense, and damn them if it didn’t work. Flint and his Tiger Force teammates (each a repainted version of the older figure with tiger stripes added) used captured and re-decoed Cobra weapons against them. Basically, Hasbro took pre-existing G.I. Joe toys and Cobra vehicles, repainted them, and released them as a whole new line. We ate it up.

Im totally freakin outnumbered, arent I?

I'm totally freakin' outnumbered, aren't I?

The opposite number of Tiger Force? Cobra’s “Python Patrol.” G.I. Joe vehicles repainted in a snake motif, paired up with Cobra toys in a slightly different snake motif. It also worked like a charm. I got this guy because, let’s face it, you can never have too many henchmen.

Nemesis Immortal: Co-bra-LALALALALALALALALALA Falcon: I swear, Ill pay you a million dollars to stop saying that.

Nemesis Immortal: Co-bra-LALALALALALALALA Falcon: I swear, I'll pay you a million dollars to stop saying that.

Finally, this two-pack of figures was based on the animated G.I. Joe: The Movie — a film that, while not nearly as awesome as TransFormers: The Movie, will probably turn out to be about a trillion times better than the live-action monstrosity rolling our way. Like the TransFormers film, the cartoon producers were instructed by Hasbro to introduce a slew of new characters to coincide with the new toys. This pack includes Lt. Falcon, younger half-brother of Duke who needs to Learn a Valuable Lesson, and the maniacal Nemesis Immortal, brutal warrior from the kingdom of Cobra-La, which is evidently where Cobra Commander really came from, which the comic book and everybody who has touched the G.I. Joe franchise since then has blissfully ignored. The figure was still kind of cool, though. I’m not sure why the name is changed, through — in the cartoon, he was “Nemesis Enforcer.” Now he’s “Immortal.” Which kind of sucks, because I always liked to imagine the beat-down Sgt. Slaughter gave him in the movie was permanent.

Anyway, folks, hope you dug this walk down memory lane. If I don’t talk to you before then, have a great Independence Day, and God Bless America!


The Petit Family Fourth of July

I hope you guys all had a great Independence Day. Every year, as I mentioned on Thursday, the Petit clan has a big barbecue at my parents’ house, and they’ve hosted it there for as long as I can remember. And as promised, I’ve got a lot of photos of the big event. For those of you who aren’t, y’know, related to me, I appreciate your indulging me with all these family photos today. But we’re a close-knit group, and we live for this sort of thing.

As always, things started early. The past month has been eaten up by a huge kitchen renovation, and the new granite countertops were installed the day before, so as I’m sure you can imagine, there was a lot to do. Fortunately, my brother-in-law, Will, was on the case. We’ve had a few different tents for the last several years to provide a little shade. A couple of weeks ago, Will began examining all the bits and pieces we have built up and started to design a super-mega-ultra tent, which kept us nice and shady all day long. Here he is, with several others putting up the tent on top of the bars.

The new kitchen was the big thing, though. If you saw the way this room looked on June 1 as compared to this photo, you’d be astonished at how different it is. There used to be a big brick oven column, hanging cabinets, blue wallpaper, a lower laminate countertop… just take it from me, it’s a major change.

Or, if you just can’t take my word for it, you can look at my Kitchen Renovation Flickr Album.

Patti and Jonathan’s sons, Lance and Jonathan Jr., eagerly await their turn to jump in the pool:

Gaye and Will try to figure out if little Joseph likes hamburgers:

Then he got passed to my cousin Jennifer for a more traditional meal. Aunt Wanda, this is probably the closest you’ll come to seeing this sort of thing for a long time.

Uncle Todd’s whole family was there: (clockwise from left) Ben, Todd, Jeremiah, Kati and Sandie.

And almost as important as the family: Uncle Todd and Uncle Kent brought the stuff for their homemade ice cream. It simply would not be one of our barbecues without homemade ice cream.

Then: THE FOOD HITS THE TABLE! My grandmother, Uncle Wally, Aunt Aimee and our former pastor and family friend Father John:

My brother Chip and sister-in-law Kayla:

Uncle Myron was ready in case his grandchildren came after him with their water pistols again.

But it was his son Alex who caught the brunt of his wrath!

Chip and Kayla brought their dog, Barker, with them.

And Barker immediately made friends with just about everyone.

Nobody had more fun than my cousin Phillip:

Except maybe my cousin Chase:

A few of us jumped in the pool:

And others needed a little help.

In the end, though, everyone had a great time.

Not enough for you? You can find more pictures in my Friends and Family Flickr Album. Hope you all had a fantastic Fourth of July, my friends! Come back tomorrow for the next 2 in 1 Showcase episode, a focus on Mike Mignola and Hellboy!


Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day

I’m posting this a day early (July 3, if you didn’t notice) because I likely won’t have time to post it tomorrow. Every year since the dawn of time, my family has hosted an enormous Fourth of July blowout, and despite the fact that my parents’ kitchen is in utter disarray as they remodel, we’re doing it again this year. It’s a great day for the Petits and the Faucheuxs (my mother’s family) — swimming, family, entirely too much food, and 99 percent of the time, rain. In memory, I can only remember one Independence Day where we didn’t get at least a few droplets of rain. Then there are the years like 2006 where the deluge is so great that people spend pretty much the entire day under the tarp. Doesn’t matter. We come out anyway.

The other thing about my family is that we are fiercely patriotic. Both of my grandfathers were in World War II. They instilled in my parents and their brothers and sisters a love of this country that has been passed down to their children. We’re not blind — we see the problems in the US — but we’re also smart enough to recognize the difference between the failures of man and the beauty of the dream, which is an insight many critics seem to lack. We respect this land, and we believe in the millions of people who, across the last two centuries, have devoted their lives and — in many cased — given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.

We’re going to have a great time tomorrow. We always do. But we owe it to them.

I’ll certainly be back Saturday with pictures of this year’s bash. In the meantime, enjoy a few gems from previous July Fourth celebrations!

Kerry GrillsMona, Carl and Kent at the Grill
Chip displays his usual dignityCaptain Underpants
Erin\'s Fourth with us got rained out -- but it was great anywayNeither rain nor sleet nor dark of night will stop us from having a hell of a barbecue!
July 4, 2006 included the still-under-construction \"Love Shack\" for Heather and WillAnother rainy Fourth at the grill
Mona brought bubbles one yearChase and Chip in that most American of pasttimes
Chip and Donna chat while Kerry grillsCaught in the Rain
WHY did I marry into this family?

Not enough for you? Here’s a last dose of Americana: last year July 4 was on a Wednesday, which meant I had an Everything But Imaginary column to write. I decided to share a gallery of some of my favorite patriotic comic book covers. Check ’em out!

Everything But Imaginary #222

Everything But Imaginary #222: Comic Covers From Sea to Shining Sea


May 2023

Blog Stats

  • 319,600 hits

Blake's Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.