I was still living in Mankato, Minnesota, and it was the summer after my father died, the summer after I graduated from high school….
On Friday the 2nd I was at a party—I can’t remember now the host, some kid I knew, I remember talking to KM and KB, and then later I went home and fell asleep listening to the radio. I very clearly remember the dream I had that night—dinosaurs, brontosaurs stomping and marching through the neighborhood, through my bedroom. I was scared but unable to move or get away as they came stomping….
Saturday the 3rd was my friend BP’s birthday, and his mom felt sorry for me or something, and so invited me along to go the family—BP, brother SP, momP and dadP— to 4th of July festivities in the town of BP’s grandparents, Cherry Grove, down on the Iowa border. BP was on home on leave from the army, and, I think, rather unhappy with the world. We drove down in the afternoon and had a birthday dinner at IHOP, and then on to Cherry Grove. Spent the evening with P-cousins and slept out that night in sleeping bags in the backyard—a vast field of stars overhead. CousinP talked about the local pastime of shooting out old televisions with shotguns. “You don’t want to breath the dust from the tubes,” he said, “you’ll get cancer….”
The morning of the 4th we took a walk down along a nearby creek and I packed out some interesting chunks of water-worn limestone. Then to Cherry Grove for the parade! How many cars and marchers were in the parade I don’t know, but it was small community and anyone who wanted to march in the parade, did. I was struck then—and am struck now, in memory, so many years later—but the total sweetness of the parade. It was nice. It made me feel good.
Then we headed back to Mankato. SP drove, and BP gave him a hard time about his driving. At home, I showered and then headed up to Blakeslee Field, the football stadium, for the fireworks show, and as I stood outside the stadium, I encountered PK, a girl I’d had a crush on since the 3rd grade. I haven’t seen her since….
Top photo: '''Fireworks''' taken by Kabir Bakie at Blue Ash Fireworks Display July 4, 2005