May 20 • 10:51 AM

Looking back on Independence Days past

July 09, 2008
July 4, 2008. It certainly is quiet here at the Village. There is a lot going on downtown but, I steer away from large, pushy crowds. There were fireworks at Heritage Park last evening and our bus took a load but, a few of us elected to see them from our spacious lawn. They were impressive.

As is my wont, I did a little reminiscing today. As a small child, I remember going to Grandma Miller's in Port Huron and seeing a few fireworks in Pine Grove Park. In our teenage years, a carload of us went over to Elk Lake where Norma Braidwood and her parents were renting a cottage. After we were married a few years I was yearning for a horse when one July 4th Billy Gotchling came riding down the road on a most beautiful, sorrel horse with three white fetlocks and a white snip on her face. He rode in our yard and I knew I had to have that horse! I used to get 300 baby chicks each March from Downs Poultry Farm, sell eggs from the old hens for 12 cents a dozen, then would sell the old hens and cockerels in the fall and don't remember what I got a pound for them. I bought the horse and saddle for $125 from Billy's Dad. I named her Pride. Mary Jean Bishop Lane had given Lee a book about a horse named Pride and my newly purchased horse looked like the storybook horse.

Then there were Fourth-of-July celebrations at Rollins cottage near Lexington when our kids were all home.

Historically Independence Day was a day of worship and was celebrated with church services and prayer, public parades and fireworks.

I think the story in the Flint Journal of the reading of the Declaration of Independence from the historic Courthouse in Lapeer was great. This year it was read by Brian Ervin of the Heritage Research Institute, a Metamora-based nonprofit organization. It will again be read on Constitution Day, September 17.

I went up to our Village Library and got the D volume of The World Book Encyclopedia (mine is waiting for me in Almont) and felt patriotic refreshing my memory of The Declaration of Independence. I had the same feeling, maybe more so, when we visited Independence Hall in Philadelphia (Philadelphia's State House in 1776) several years ago. I stood immersed in nostalgia as I envisioned the 56 signers of the Declaration, especially the five committee members, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert E. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Today I took the time to first reacquaint myself with the events leading to the Declaration, reacquaint myself with The Continental Congress, read about the events leading to the adoption and importance of the Declaration, then, I carefully chewed and digested that document in my mind.

Two hundred and thirty-two years has seen many changes but, God Bless America!

— Country Cousin

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 20 - 19
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