Happy 4th of July weekend! Can you believe we are only 5 years from celebrating our sestercenntenial, aka 250 years? Many of you may remember the 200 year celebration in 1976. I can tell you what I wore when I picnicked in the city park and got a slice of a giant birthday cake donated by bakeries. That was the start of our family’s now tradition of eating fried chicken with all the fixins’ instead of BBQing, which we had done when I was very young.
We began this year’s commemoration by attending our city’s First Friday celebration last night. BC (Before Covid), our town had a street fair every First Friday evening. Local bands play on the 3 blocks that our closed on the main street through the old business district, with a few side streets also blocked to traffic for the occasion. It looked like rain so hubby and I decided to arrive earlier than we used to. There weren’t quite as many vendors or visitors as before but it was early. As soon as I saw one of my favorite Italian restaurants had reopened we knew that’s where we were eating. It just happened that was the last restaurant we ate at on March 13, 2020 – our last day onsite at our worksites. Our adult kids had chastised us the following day for risking eating out the night before but we had been cautious by dining at an outside table. We got the same table last night and the experience was surreal. I actually got teary eyed when the first course arrived.
We’re hoping the weather holds up for us to have our traditional picnic tomorrow followed by watching the fireworks. Independence takes on a new meaning for us this year as we reacclimated ourselves in our community.
In genealogy, we focus on the past without thinking much that our past was our ancestor’s present. If you have a holiday custom, like our picnic food, it once was done first. Spend some time researching when the first occasion was and why. I know we weren’t allowed to bring portable BBQ grills to the park which was why my mother changed the menu. We wanted to arrive at the park early as a spectacular firework show was planned to mark the bicenntenial. We wanted a good parking spot and viewing location so we didn’t miss that special event.
Next is the most important part of the story – WRITE IT DOWN! It is wonderful that you made the discovery of the custom’s origin but it will be forgotten for future generations if you don’t record it. You don’t have to write at length. A brief note in your family tree program added as an event will commemorate your finding and/or memory. A few family historian will certainly appreciate you took the time to save the memory.