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A DAZZLING FOURTH

by Eva Pasco

Fourth of July“The Times They Are a Changing” (Bob Dylan)--just one of the many protest or patriotic songs drummed up during the Sixties in response to the Vietnam War. Though times indeed have changed, we Americans salute our country’s 233rd birthday, commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Just whether or not you can legally toss a “salute” in celebration depends on state laws governing the use of trippin’ on psychedelic consumer fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in my state of Rhode Island, and if caught with possession without a permit, you’re liable to be fined between $100 and $500 or imprisoned for up to a year. Touch a match to them and you’ve committed a felony where the fine escalates to more than $1,000 and up to five years in jail. ((Rhode Island statute 23-28.11-9). Yankee Doodle Dandy…

Growing up during the Sixties, my family's celebration of the Fourth involved the tradition of my father firing up the grill by liberally squirting lighter fluid over charcoal briquettes before tossing in a lighted match. When the pyrotechnic flames settled, he proceeded to barbecue our burgers and hot dogs to charred perfection. When it grew dark enough, my sister and I ran around the yard with sparklers as though they were magic wands eliciting shooting stars. Nowadays the state of RI allows sparklers as a consumer firework by permit only.

Dylan’s “changing times” in 1964 led a parade of other patriotic/protest songs in an explosive era: “Mr. Lonely” (1964, Bobby Vinton); “Eve of Destruction” (1965, Barry McGuire); “Coming Home Soldier” (1966, Bobby Vinton); “Universal Soldier” (1966, Buffy Sainte-Marie); “Ballad of the Green Berets” (1966, Sergeant Barry Sadler); “Give Peace a Chance” (1969, John Lennon).

Though freedom of fireworks may have fizzled in the here and now, there are concerts, parades with firework finales, and professional firework displays to bedazzle. Since it was established in 1785, Rhode Island’s Bristol Annual Fourth of July Parade has grown each year to become one of the longest July 4th parades in the country with over ten divisions consisting of marching bands, floats, and performers.

If  these festivities aren't bang enough, you can always watch “Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest” on television to discover if Joey Chestnut achieves top dog again this year. After last year’s close call necessitating a five-dog overtime following a tie with Takeru Kobayashi where both downed 59 hot dogs and buns, you can be sure champion and contestants alike emitted
 some unabashed explosive belches.

     

Click the book images to order your copy of the books.

 

Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

 

 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 


                

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