Friday, July 3, 2020

3 July: There are a number of things that I can remember

There are a number of things that I can remember for any given day. 

For instance, today, 3 July, it is the anniversary of Mers-el-Kebir, it's the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and when Stone of Scone returned to Scottland.

But the third of July reminds me of the mid 60's  and getting ready to get excited to go into Juneau,* Alaska, next to the mudflats, for the 4th of July fair, and watch the fireworks.

Juneau isn't Fairbanks, but still it stay light pretty late, with long twilights -- so it was one of the few times we got to stay up until almost mid night.

And there was a delightful uncertainty as to actually when the fireworks would happen.  Juneau has, on average, eight clear days a year.  The above picture is likely from mid-summer.

So, fireworks might or might need to be postponed. The times we tried to do something clever like go out on a friend's boat, it was bucketing down.

Then there was the setting.  We were on the Juneau side of the Gastineau Channel, the fireworks were shot off from the middle of channel, and the backdrop was Mt Douglas, in the then city of Douglas.*
During the fireworks, I have clear memories of my father then.  He was smoking his pipe,  trying to coral us,  giving us time on his shoulders, dealing with a sick little brother, involved in endless political chat.


*Technically, neither Juneau, nor Douglas exist anymore.  They were dissolved when the City and Borough of Juneau was created . My father was a member of the charter commission that planned that merger.  I believe it was his one elective office.  He got bitten by dogs while campaigning, and so was supplied by friends with the clever protective mask above.