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What are your cherished 4th of July traditions?

Happy Independence Day! What kind of fun traditions have you made on the holiday?

Happy Fourth of July everyone! While we’re not going to get political in this thread, it’s common knowledge that the holiday means two things: celebrating independence and blowing stuff up!

The fireworks around my apartment in Seattle, WA have already gotten ridiculous. M90s are going off at the worst hour and you can see bottle rockets flying out around Green Lake. As you get older, you tend to hate fireworks more, but I remember when they were pretty amazing.

The Fourth of July is where some traditions once again repeat themselves. I know the Fourth is some people’s Christmas as far as importance, so who has some good family or friendly traditions to share? I figured we’d open up a thread to share some of our time-honored traditions, be it BBQs, fishing expeditions, or truckloads of fireworks.

The best one I have is when I was in junior high/high school and a friend of ours named Bob Stork (you know Stork, right? Everyone does). Stork had this boat of his and every year his family would invite my father and I to take a trip to Henry’s Lake.

Henry’s Lake is about seven hours—if I remember right—from Boise. It has some really good fishing and the 10 of us would stay in these cabins nearby and fish for about seven hours a day.

Well there’s two things that I remember happening. The first is every single year while fishing, me being a stupid, stupid teenager would try to be awesome and forego sunscreen. In 95 degree heat this is a dumb decision. It’d sit at the foot of the Stork’s boat catching trout while the sun cooked me dry. By the time our first day was done I’d have my tank-top welded to my body while my arms were a deep crimson hue. The next day my arms would be covered in blisters like I were a craterous moon and I’d have the most ridiculous tan a 13-17-year old could get. You think farmer’s tans are wacky, wait until you see a tank-tan. While doing this I’d catch everyone’s limit, since no one else could fish, but I paid the price the remaining days.

The second is, Stork himself. There was always an incident. Let me tell you about the most memorable of these trips. Stork was in his mid-60s (think of Bald Bull from Nintendo’s Punch Out! with 30 more years on him and grey hair) when I was a teenager. One year, for whatever the reason, I rode up with Stork and his family while my father stayed behind for a day or two. We got out late and planned on staying in Idaho Falls that evening, but it was five hours away.

It was around midnight and two hours from our destination. I’m in the backseat of with his two sons, half awake while everyone else is asleep. And I do mean everyone else, including Stork, who was driving. All the sudden, I look up and see us drift away and driving through the side of a canal for a good three minutes before his wife wakes up screaming several obscenities. In no time, he’s swerving back onto the road, driving normal. Not a word, no hyperventilating, just a calm, “Oh thanks, Blondie! [Stork’s wife]”

Well, Stork’s wife wasn’t calm. She demanded he pull the car over and let her drive. Instead, all Stork said he needed was coffee and some music. Coffee makes sense, but the thing is, Stork isn’t a music guy. At least as far as I know. The guy knows hunting, fishing, and cranes. Not music. He never ran the radio and I was in his car A LOT.

We pulled off to a gas station and Stork drug me in with him. I think I got more caffeine than he did with the huge cappuccino he bought me. Regardless, he got some something to alert him for the rest of the trip to Idaho Falls. When he paid for the java, he grabbed a cassette tape at the register. We had what we needed.

What was the tape? Why none other than the best of Hank Williams. By this point, everyone is awake and for two hours and we’re screaming at him to turn the damn music off. Click the link, now think of that music blasted through a cassette deck in a Chevy pickup.

I think that was the same year Stork decided he wanted ice cream at 1:00 AM. He grabbed me and the two of us strolled through Last Chance, Idaho (population: 15) to find a Baskin Robbins.

There was no Baskin Robbins.

The trips stopped when we all grew up and went our separate ways, but we have enough incidents to write a book.

It’s a slow Fourth as far as football is concerned so I thought I’d just start up a thread to hear the traditions of your own. What is everyone doing for the Fourth? Does anyone have big plans? Consider this an open thread to talk about what you are doing or memorable traditions.

Be safe, everyone.