Next week we celebrate the FOURTH of JULY and with this celebration comes many happy memories. Memories of red soda pop and homemade ice cream and of course the 4th of July Picnic. Oh, what a treat when Daddy came in with a CASE of Nehi red soda pop, the kind that fizzled all the way up your nose. With the red soda pop was the 25 pound block of ice that would be used to freeze the ice cream. Each of us would take our turn turning the handle on the freezer while one would take a turn sitting on on the freezer. Why? I don’t know. After the freezer got too hard to turn Daddy would take his turn to give the last few turns to be sure it was ready to be packed with more ice so it could ripen. The excitement of waiting for dark time to come so we could go to the picnic which was really a carnival with a Ferris Wheel and a Carousel and of course that wonderful thing called shaved ice. The kind that was put in a flimsy paper cone shaped cup with a little kool aid poured over it causing it to melt real fast and drip all down the front of your clothes. More exciting than the rides and shaved ice, especially for the older folks, was seeing friends that you had not seen since the last Fourth of July. People came from far and near to this big attraction, which really was very small, but to each of us it was BIG. The area where the Pinkbud Nursing Home now stands was where this big event was held. Hundreds of people attended and if it was election time all the candidates would be there. Often times there would be a platform where each candidate would stand to give his speech. There was no bashing the other candidates just telling why they themselves should be elected. That is what I call the good old days before the days of television and candidates using this means to run the other candidates down for all the nation to see. As Daddy was quite a polistician the candidates would give the Bolin kids a nickel or dime. I guess this was to impress our Daddy When we got home it was time for the real fun. The shooting of fireworks. Each of us would have a package of Black Cat firecrackers. These were tied together in a bundle of twenty or more each with a single fuse. When lit the whole package came to life. The firecrackers were lit with a punk stick. These were slender sticks of pressed material that just smoldered after lit so no matches were needed. We were blessed with four or five packages each of assorted sizes of firecrackers. Best of all were the sparklers that we waved and twirled about making beautiful designs with the sparkling light. On some occasions we were lucky enough to have Roman Candles. They were the safest thing for the younger kids to shoot. They were so beautiful with their rainbow of colors. We felt we were the luckiest kids in the world.
Today people are busy with big cookouts that they don’t have the time to really enjoy the day. Few peopoe have hand cranked ice cream freezers, and red soda pop is not a treat anymore. Shaved ice has given way to snow cones of all sorts of flavors in a cup made of styrofoam with a straw stuck in it. I’ll admit snow cones are better but you don’t get the thrill that we got when shaved ice was such a treat and I do miss the Fourth of July Picnic held at the old picnic grounds.