Tomorrow I shall experience my second July 4th parade around our 55 acre 'pond' ( even in Texas that would qualify as a *lake*. )I shall probably hitch a ride in Donna and Jack's decked out golf cart or Art and Diane's decked out pick up. Mine isn't decked out, Tall Girl (TG) and her sister Baby Girl (BG) are headed for the peach festival...a bit too much for me as the heat hits 99 usually.
I mention it because at first it seems quite rinky dink, but at 9 a.m. as the parade starts and we've got our bags of candy to throw to the kids lining the route, ...and everyone enjoys it. Why? I'm not sure...maybe because it is 'ours'. Ours is a private community that was made that way years ago so there is a strong sense of proprietorship by those in the community. The developer at that time was free to put in a private road (1950s) but nowadays that would never happen so the Board of Directors job (BOD) includes tussling with the road problems. We have muscle trucks here (even mine is a muscle truck!) not for glamour but because we cannot get out with anything less during the rainy season. But that social network of everyone knows something about everything wound up with:
1) dirt being dug for a new school was hauled to our roads rather than a landfill.
2) The country had a large equipment operator willing to bring out some of the big machinery need on a Saturday if the county would rent it and they did.
3) The rest of us less muscular ones could rake the hay into the culverts atop the river gravel.
So how is this relevant to what I appreciate about the 4th of July? I am and have been for the better part of 60 years the walking, talking poster girl for the American dream : if one pulls oneself up by one's own bootstraps one can be or do anything one wants to do. (Do I have enough *ones* there!?) Of course that happened well before I became aware of "class as an issue' But I kept striving and teachers kept helping me. Growing up in a Mexican Labor Camp in South Texas the odds of me doing anything beyond getting pregnant at 15 and dropping out of school were astromical.
So I'm very very grateful to live in America where, if I were willing, I could make it. I cannot think of any other place on earth I could have accomplished so much against such odds.
Relevance? It's relevant to self-reliance here in our community where I can harvest my garden, give some of the produce to the Gardening Day committee where there is also a food bank for those in the community who have really hit on hard times here in South Carolina (among the top 3 with highest level of unemployment). and can get some food without sacrificing their pride.
And spread that damned hay! Happy Birthday America!