Author Topic: Off Topic - My 4th Memory  (Read 1417 times)

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Offline OilyRascal

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Off Topic - My 4th Memory
« on: July 03, 2012, 09:46:48 PM »
My thoughts on the 4th of July - nothing to do with old tools so you may want to close out now.

Firstly, Happy Birthday to America!  I feel obliged daily to those that have sacrificed so that I may live here in the way that I'm able.

Since I was a child the 4th has always been the one holiday that was unilaterally celebrated in the family; no fussing over how big, when, where, who was invited, what to wear or eat, and no expense was spared.  Men and women of the family (and of the company) may work for weeks; fabricating tables or new cooking grills or benches, cutting hickory, grading roads, hauling water in, preparing food - whatever it took to have a day of celebration for all of the family, friends, and business associates - At the "camp".  Normally there were at least a couple dozen chickens, 2-3 hogs, and a beef half go on grills.  My grandfather, then the son of his disignation after his bedtime, would tend to the fire and cooking for days if that was the demand.  No fire was ever to be lit in the same box as food - there was always a hickory fire bed along side - with coals moved over on the hour.  Oh how I felt like an man when I was finally able to stay up all night with the uncles tending to things.  Of course, there are a couple of celebrations that really stick out.

An uncle married into a family within the last year of this 4th.  He had decided to invite his in-laws to the camp for our 4th celebration.  Among his guests, was a brother-n-law in his early 20s.  It seems he had developed some unique method (FYI RUSTY - not patented) that would allow firecrackers to fire FOREVER.  He had wound several thousand fire crackers into this mortar soaked twine contraption that when lit would burn for hours on end - into the night - ever so SUDDENLY firing out of nowhere on occasion.  My papaw didn't like firecrackers to begin with - said they'd make a dog "gun shy".  This went on through the night until about 2am when he'd had enough.

Water has always been an issue on that property for our family.  It was hauled in on trailers and pumped up to a water tower on the camp property.  Several wells have been attempted in my lifetime.  One particular July 4th it was decided that another well attempt would be made.  About a week before the 4th he brought in a drilling machine and started in search of water yet again - this time prepared to go deep and moving lots of drill mud.  I was assigned the duty of staying up all night and tending to the men - making sure that they had what they needed (water, coffee, tea, food, a rag, a tool.....).  About 3:30am I went inside the camp to put a pot of water on the stove for coffee.  It was an older style tea kettle that whistled very loudly when it boiled.  Just after I had gotten the water to boil and start to pour cups, and I hear this enormous CRASH outside the camp.  I run out to see the double poles had given way on the rig - about 20' up - collapsing it all.  It was obviously a frantic mess for a few minutes - and in that few minutes the hot tea kettle of boiling water had terribly scorched the nice wood grain on the cabinet counter tops inside.  I think I got the bad end of a frustrated man that night over a silly hot pot burning a counter.  That mark remains in the counter.  I saved that tea kettle nearly 20 years later found in a dump pile in the woods of that property.  I have it sitting on a shelf in my garage - complete with burn marks on the bottom.

My papaw passed in '97; as did the lifetime of big 4th of July celebrations.  I had moved away and started my own family, the property had gone to the crapper - it didn't seem to much matter to the family anymore.  So be it; a tradition dies.

My father, the oldest sibling, has in the last few years began to put on a cooking worthy of his dad's attention and approval - with the crowd growing yearly; resurrecting some long lost relationships of the family.  It does my heart good to see him walk in these steps - humbly working for days on end to serve crowds of people for no other reason than the simple joy of doing it - and honoring his father's ways.   

A few last words; and this with a point.  My older brother and I made a "run" in the early hours of the 4th one year.  I specifically recall lard being on order from the house.  On our way, we had the unfortunate luck of watching a driver seemingly go unresponsive, drift to the roadside, then hit a culvert head-on.  The first thing I'm able to grab upon getting to that car was a lifeless arm.  The smell of alcohol was overwhelming.  It was concluded she most likely fell asleep while driving with a .18% blood alcohol level.  Please help keep MY KIDS AND FAMILY, those I love, and the rest of the world safe by not mixing alcohol and driving.

Happy and safe 4th for those celebrating the holiday.

"FORGED IN THE USA" myself.  Be good to your tools!

Garden and Yard Rustfinder Extraordinaire!
http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=3717

Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Off Topic - My 4th Memory
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 10:16:16 PM »
Well said, Ime sure that was some good food you had there.

I really dont care if someone wants to drink but please people dont get behind the wheel of a car afterwords. Do what you wish but dont endanger the saftey of others.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

Offline john k

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Re: Off Topic - My 4th Memory
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 03:59:51 AM »
Sounds like a bunch of good 4th memories.   At my grandfathers farm, they'd put all the tables together on the porch to eat on, cause after the cooking the kitchen was just too warm.   I remember the galvanized wash tub full of ice and beer.   My grandfathers older brothers leaning on their canes,  well into their 80s and 90s.   Sometimes there would be a watermelon if they were ready yet.   Then a bonfire out by the garden for the kids, with marshmallows. 
Member of PHARTS - Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society

Offline bird

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Re: Off Topic - My 4th Memory
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 07:31:11 PM »
      I'm very honored to be amongst the persons to hear your personal experiences. I should probably say, first of all, that I'm an alcoholic.  I'm generally drunk. I'm not at all proud about that....  in fact, it's down right awful. I should know better then to continue drinking. Drinking leads to nothing but trouble, broken family/ friends/ girlfriends/  and bankruptcy.  I will never get behind the wheel of a car (go-cart, skate board, ....  anything with wheels!). I'm both terrified and thankful that I never was in a wreck  (if it were just me, I'd deserve it.  But, if I ever harmed another person, I'd never forgive myself.).
         About a decade ago, I realized that I could harm other persons by my actions.  I am still terrified with the thought that I could have harmed or killed someone else due to my actions. I'm none the wiser about addictions.  But, i will NEVER endanger another  person.
     All of that said, the fourth of July is a rather sad day for me.  i suppose we are supposed to celebrate our independence.  One of my closest friends died fighting for our freedom.  I couldn't begin to say what I believe in or don't believe in as far as war goes.  That's not up to me.  This isn't the place for me to voice my opinions. I'm not even sure what my opinion would be about war, freedom, different forms of government, ect. 
      Life consists of a continual series of choices.  I've not always made the best choices. Again,  I can promise that I'll never get behind the wheel of a car.  I wish other persons could realize the actual consequences that could happen from their irresponsibility. 
       
cheers, (normally, "cheers', but today I'm not feeling so cheery)
bird.
Silent bidder extraordinaire!
"Aunt birdie, I think you're the best loser ever!!!!!!"

Offline OilyRascal

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Re: Off Topic - My 4th Memory
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 08:22:44 PM »
Bird - I rarely find shame in life's struggles or hardships.  I'm no stranger to alcohol abuse.  I have not drank alcohol in 1 year 3 months and 5 days.  I make that choice nearly every day, and on some days several times an hour.

My best to you.  Chin up, and Cheers (as I hold up my Brita water bottle)!
"FORGED IN THE USA" myself.  Be good to your tools!

Garden and Yard Rustfinder Extraordinaire!
http://www.papawswrench.com/vboard/index.php?topic=3717