Kicked off my 4th of July with material from my Colliers Harvest of Holidays children's anthology book. Along with shorter poems and "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," there was a chapter from Little House on the Prairie that depicted Laura and Mary going into town with their pa for lemonade and a big horse and buggy race. Switched to the Disney America anthology for a short story retelling of Revere's big ride, a story version of the Disney movie Toby Tyler; or Ten Days With the Circus, and "Ben and Me," about how Amos the church mouse supposedly helped Ben Franklin create some of his greatest inventions. The last chapter of the coffee table book Summer In America talks about how the 4th of July is America's big summer birthday party and how it was celebrated in years past.
Put on Yankee Doodle Cricket as I ate breakfast. Amos isn't the only mouse who claims to have shaped significant events in American history. Tucker the mouse tells Harry the Cat that their ancestors influenced the creation of the first flag and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, among other bits of history, and that Chester the Cricket's ancestor wrote "Yankee Doodle."
Switched to shorts as I prepared to run errands. "Patriotic Popeye" insists that his nephews have a safe Fourth doing other activities besides setting off fireworks, but they manage to find his stash every time. It takes Popeye having to rescue them from a rocket blasting in the air to convince them that there's other ways to enjoy the holiday. Donald Duck wants to set up the perfect picnic in front of the fireworks for Daisy in "Donald's Failed Fourth," but first the blanket, then the chairs refuse to behave. Tom & Jerry spend their holiday setting off fireworks on each other in "The Yankee Doodle Mouse."
Headed out shortly after Tom & Jerry ended. Despite the heat and humidity, everyone was out and about to do something for the holiday. I stopped at the WaWa in Collingswood first. Needed money and something cold to drink. Treated myself to a Mocha Mint Frozen Cappuccino to keep me awake for the party later in the day.
The parades may not have been on, but the Farm Market was. It was busy, but not as much as I expected, possibly because it was quarter after 11 by the time I got there. Strawberries are gone, but I saw the first eggplants, peaches, blackberries, and Asian green beans of the season. Picked up the last three, blueberries, baby bok choy from the organic booth, and two ears of corn.
Newton Lake Park was busy this morning, too. There were lots of people out riding their bikes, walking their dogs, or just strolling with their friends or kids. Despite the heat, it was at least sunny, with a nice breeze. The light sparkled on the green lake; the tall reeds waved in the light breeze.
Stopped at CVS on the way home. Needed another drink, as the mocha mint was long gone. Grabbed a bottle of Powerade fruit punch, got in a short line, and got out. Ran into a kindly older neighbor on the way home; she shops at the Acme, and I see her there from time to time. I explained to her about my moving soon and my accident, and that I wasn't having problems with being at home.
Put everything away while running a few more shorts. Bugs is a "Bunker Hill Bunny" when he goes up against Hessian captain Sam in a battle of cannon fire and many, many doors. He tells his nephew Clyde his own version of American history in "Yankee Doodle Bugs," but it may not be accurate enough for the little bunny to pass a school test. "Pinky Doodle" wants to hand out pamphlets encouraging the citizens of Boston to fight, if the Red Coat horse he's riding will let him!
Watched Take Me Out to the Ball Game while working on that crocheted pillow case. I go into more detail on this mix of baseball heroics and soft-shoe dance routines at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.
Happy 4th of July! - Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Went on the computer and did some writing for an hour and a half after the movie ended. Betty leads them into a secret passage while Malade is still sputtering. They end up just outside of the ballroom. Not only do they have to warn the others that the wicked queen is returning, but Charles wants to figure out how to restore Brett's magic as well, and the frog still wants a kiss from Betty...
Finally headed out for Rose's house around 4 PM. Everyone else already arrived by the time I got there. Jodie came from the hospital, where Dad is recovering well from his surgery. Rose chatted with Craig's parents while Finley splashed in their big inflatable pool. Rose brought out fruit, vegetable sticks, and tomato-fresh mozzarella salad in cups, with individual ranch dip for the veggies and cans of sparkling water and local beer from the cooler. Craig grilled burgers and hot dogs.
I have no idea where my bathing suit is right now - it's in a bag somewhere - so I couldn't sit down in the pool. I did wade around in it, though, picking up rings to toss with my feet. The water felt great, warm and relaxing. No wonder the kids mostly had a great time (once Rose could drag Khai outside).
I'd gone to look at Craig's massive tomato plants when I felt a stabbing pain in one of my left toes. Ouuuch! I'd stepped on a bee! I was able to get the stinger out, but it hurt like heck. Rose took me inside and slathered baking soda and vinegar on my swollen toe while I ate my burger and individual cup of macaroni salad on the bench in her kitchen.
Truth be told, I felt kind of awkward outside, anyway. I don't know Craig's parents well and I didn't know what to say to them or Jodie. I felt better when Rose and Craig brought out Finley's unicorn-themed cake. We all ate the delicious yellow sponge cake slathered with pastel whipped topping, then watched Finley open her gifts.
Craig's parents bought Finley an entire Belle ensemble, from the sparkly gold gown to shoes with small heels to even the long gold opera gloves and red gem tiara. She of course had to wear everything right away. Jodie gave her a Moana costume and a straw hat to make up for Moana not having a traditional tiara. Rose and Craig gave her the coolest gift - a soft plush ride-on unicorn! Finley loved hiding in the pink plastic "stable" her new unicorn Dusty came in just as much.
After the grandparents left, I kept an eye on Finley in the living room as the rest of her family cleaned up the party mess and tent. She showed me her other birthday gifts, including a Little People nursery with babies she could put to sleep that made cooing noises. Music videos of short songs that taught toddlers manners played in the background as we played with the nursery and her new cupcake-bride doll.
Craig took me and three boxes that Finley's birthday gifts arrived in home. I took a quick shower, then joined the rest of the live chat for the first Match Game marathon in almost two months. Match Game was revived briefly from the fall of 1990 through the summer of 1991. Brett Somers showed up for three weeks of that revival, always sitting in her old center spot next to Charles. Her voice may have been raspier, but her wit was as rapier-sharp as ever. I arrived in time for the final week's worth of episodes, including the hilarious Halloween show that had Charles dressed as Superman and Brett as a little girl.
Here's the marathon, so you can match wits with Brett one final time.
Match Game '90 With Guest Panelist Brett Somers
Finished the night on YouTube after tonight's Match Game syndicated premieres with something more related to the holiday. I wanted to see some parade today, so I went back to my childhood with this vintage recording of the 1988 Walt Disney World 4th of July Parade. This jam-packed special features quick glimpses at the then-new Maelstrom ride in Norway at Epcot Center (now the Frozen ride) and the Disney-MGM (now Disney's Hollywood) Studios, along with everyone from Broadway star Tommy Tune dancing in front of Cinderella's Castle with Rita Moreno to the Beach Boys singing their then-major hit "Kokomo."
1988 Walt Disney 4th of July Parade
And I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July, no matter whom you celebrated it with or how!