Archive for July 5th, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day

Every Parade Needs Vintage Cars

4th of July is a terrific holiday.  Every community in America celebrates by either a backyard barbecue, a patriotic parade or spectacular fireworks.  Many communities do their firework displays on the 2nd or 3rd to get a less expensive celebration and extend the festivities.  This year I took in the Bodega Bay fireworks, the San Jose Parade and a neighborhood barbecue in Mountain View.  I am not one to miss a party!

The Beginnings of the July Celebration

The weather was perfect for fireworks watching at Bodega Bay on July 2.  The pyrotechnics occur at the harbor but on a clear night they can be seen from many a deck.   There has not been a clear night in the last eight years but we had one this year.  The party began at around 6 pm and the sun was streaming into the house from cloudless skies.

The Night Was a Success

A great omen for a great evening.  By 9 the sun was down and the table cleared.  By 10 the fireworks were over.  It was a wonderful evening that lasted into the night with a game of Mexican Train.

Sunday was a transition day from Sonoma County to the City of San Jose.  I lived in San Jose for a number of years during my time with IBM and Lanx.  Okay, everyone knows what IBM is but who knows about Lanx?  Lanx was a great startup that was way ahead of its time.  But we had great fun and passed a few years of research and innovation in perpendicular magnetic recording.  I have wonderful memories of my time in San Jose.  I now return to the old haunts (and hardly recognize the place) to visit my granddaughter and her parents.

Maike enjoying the Parade on the Shoulders of her Daddy

We decided to take in the parade in Downtown San Jose along with the following street fair.  I don’t think that I had ever done this before.  Thankfully, we found a great patch of grass in the shade to watch the floats, politicians and cars go by.  There were more vintage VW Beetles than there were Model Ts.  I was surprised that there were no marching bands (probably due to cuts in the music budget but maybe since it was during the summer break) but we did have a couple of combos on flatbeds.

The parade had a number of entries from the local Reserve Unit and some great vintage military vehicles.  The diversity of the day was emphasized by the Muslims for Loyalty contingency and the Thai statue decked out as the Statute of Liberty.  Uncle Sam was an African American and Miss America was Asian.  The WWII veterans were represented by a selection of photos carried by descendents led by a WWII veteran of Mexican heritage.  This was a display of American at its best.

We enjoyed Pad Thai noodles, chicken satay and scoops of ice cream at the Street Fair.  There was a booth for Friends of  the San Jose Rose Garden as well as theater groups and local businesses.  Music was sponsored by First Tech Credit Union which was recently merged with what had once been the HP Credit Union.

We all needed a nap after the midday sun and were up and raring to go in time to hit the neighborhood barbecue in Mountain View.  It was a wonderful 4th of July that will be remembered by all as a terrific day with friends, family and extended community.

Our Troops On Display - USA Style


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