Hidden Lakes residents share their favorite Fourth of July memories
Each year, Americans across the country band together to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July. Whether enjoying a barbecue picnic, cheering on a parade or becoming awe-struck at a firework display, the traditional celebrations that come with our national holiday cultivate some of the most nostalgic memories.
Residents of Holiday Retirement’s Hidden Lakes recently shared some of their favorite ways they celebrated Independence Day.
Jeanette Knapp, 86
“Jackson Hole is a tourist mecca where everyone who lives there works to keep tourists happy, but with one day as an exception, Fourth of July. Every year, locals gather in the high school ball field for a picnic. The Festival Symphony Orchestra sets up a band shell, and people spread blankets, covering the field in what becomes a solid cloth. ‘Blanket hopping’ is the order of the day and everyone is in the best of moods.
“One such Fourth of July, the orchestra was playing a medley of patriotic songs when a bald eagle and a red-tailed hawk decided to play games over our heads. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.”
Shirley Boehmer, 87
“Every year for Fourth of July, my whole family met at my uncle’s home in the country. We had homemade ice cream and a picnic of the best salads. I remember my grandma was always the life of the party. In the evening, we all went into town for the fireworks.”
Ed and Jerrie Hosford, 79 and 77
“When we grew up, Fourth of July meant ladyfinger firecrackers by the dozen, caps in toy pistols and black buttons that grew into wiggling ash snakes when lit. No kid had to wait for darkness to celebrate with fireworks. The bangs, pops and smell of sulfur began early in the day and lasted until a proper level of darkness. Then mom and dad would open the giant box of sparklers.
“I [Ed] remember when Jerrie’s dad brought out a real prize—a giant standing candle that warned ‘Run after lighting this firework.’ Her father struck a match, then we both bolted to the far end of the yard where Jerrie, her mom and her sisters waited. It was going to be the finest sparkling display in the neighborhood!
“As we leaned forward to enjoy the exciting show, the wick burned down, dark smoke rose in the air and the candle sparked with a fizz, fizz, pop. We all groaned and laughed at the dud firework. Now, every Fourth of July it’s the family’s favorite ‘remember the time…’ story.”
Deanna Hunter, 80
“My first memory of the Fourth of July celebration was when my parents took me to the ball park to watch the fireworks. All that noise terrified me, and I sat there with my hands over my ears, crying. But the most unexpected celebration was when I lived in Yokosuka, Japan, in 1991, and the local government worked with the U.S. Navy to set off beautiful fireworks over Mikasa Bay.”
Do you love the sense of community that comes from holidays like Independence Day? Find a nearby Holiday Retirement community and join us for our own Fourth of July celebrations.