When the 4th of July arrives we all have a wide array of memories that flood through our minds… Some happy, others sad, many funny, a few, memorable and special.
One of my favorite 4th of July memories goes way back to childhood and involves my siblings, notably my two brothers. When I was about 15 and my sister 9, our brothers, ages 12 and 3, decided to enter the neighborhood “decorate-your-bicycle” 4th of July parade as a “package deal.” It all started with a preschool blanket sleeper that our mother bought to use as a Halloween “Tiger” costume back when I was a very little kid. I wore it out for Trick-or-Treat. My brother wore it. My sister wore it, and our youngest brother had just worn it the previous Halloween at age 2. We all thought it was dumb, but hey, it worked for the little kids and kept them warm on Pennsylvania and Ohio October ghost haunts! But on this particular 4th of July, our 12-year-old brother had one of his brilliant (and he had many!) ideas… He thought it would be fantastic to dress his little brother in the Tiger sleeper, put him in the well-worn red wagon, build a “cage” from wood dad had in his basement woodshop scrap pile to keep in the” Tiger,” and he would dress as the Tiger Tamer pulling the wagon in the 4th of July parade! All this spawned from a blanket sleeper and recent visit to the circus!
Preparation for this project went on for several days before the big event, involving everyone in the family in a variety of ways. But Dan did most of the work, his creative talents unfolding in amazing ways. I will always remember the finished product when our two brothers rolled out of the garage ready to head off to the starting point! Dan was positively glowing with pride and accomplishment. Younger brother was along for the ride, and most agreeable, but the look on his face indicated that he wondered what he had gotten himself into with big brother, again…
The parade was a huge success! And, our brothers won first place for the most unique and creative decoration of wheels!
My youngest brother just celebrated a birthday. It was nice to chat with him on the phone knowing that he and his family had fun plans to enjoy the long 4th of July weekend.
We all miss Dan very much. Miss his big smile and big heart… We lost him in December of 2009…
Ahhh… so many bittersweet memories….