I guess like most holidays there are childhood memories that flash back and you travel back to a time and place where you were innocent and your only care in the world was the here and the now. I have such fond memories of the Fourth of July. Some of the families on the street I grew up on, out in south Nashville, used to get together have a cook out and set off fireworks.
My sister Libby, our father, and I used to take the drive up the road just outside the county line to Smyrna where we would buy our fireworks. It was a quick trip and Libby, and my eyes would grow big. Because we would want the big bang lots of color things that would put on a show and a big bang. Libby and I wanted the big package of firecrackers but Dad would only allow us to get the smallest one which had like 20 in it however, if you spent so much you would get another pack of 20 for free now this was cool. 2 small boxes of sparklers, a ten pack of bottle rockets, those snake things, of course Roman Candles, and a small variety of things that would shoot wonderful colors into the air.
The Picnic brought out what kids thought is the best hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, Cokes (junk food) then water melon, there could have been chicken and ribs for all I knew. We would eat and eat then start with the snakes and firecrackers before it got dark. Our dog Barnaby, a Bassett Hound, would get to sleep in the house he was terrified by the fireworks. As dusk came the things that made pretty colors like the sparklers would come out. Each family would sort of lay out their goodies and we would all take turns till we got to the GRAND FANALLY. To kids it was late and by the end of the night I would be so sick with all the junk food and having inhaled enough smoke from all the fireworks I would be throwing up. My Mom would get out of bed get a cup of water and a cold rag and sit with me until it was over. Then tuck me back into bed. It is my earliest memory of making a promise to the Great Porcelain God that I would never again mix such a concoction. But that lesson was not easily learned.