Forth of July

What does this Independence Day mean to me? Well first of all, it’s a day we celebrate freedom. The freedom to do and go where we please, the freedom to choose and the freedom to live in a country our forefathers fought to keep that way. From the shores of Tripoli, to the Battle of the Bulge, the Normandy landing, Vietnam as well as Desert Storm.

Every Fourth of July a crowd of fifty or more would gather in my Mother’s yard for hamburgers and homemade ice cream. It was a time to feast and stretch our bellies to the point of bloating. There was always a horseshoe pitching contest, and whomever was on my Dad’s team would inevitably win. The Fourth is a time for family, peace, love and remembrance. And a time to reflect on what this country means to us.

I have seen a lot of fireworks in my time, but maybe not like the ones you’re used to. I am talking about an ole bronc that blows up and bucks right by the wagon scattering dishpans and Dutch ovens. Or someone missing the mark just a little in the branding pen and dragging a big ole juicy yearling through the pit, thrashing everything in site and sending the ground crew into panic mode. The glow of hot iron on cold mornings in the branding fire as heat and coals do their job.

I’m glad we have the freedom that gives me the privilege to have cooked on some really historic ranches and fed crews from a little of everywhere. I don’t take this freedom lightly, I promise you. My God, I am glad to be an American and have the freedoms we have.

So when you see the fireworks display tonight, just remember, someone paid a price for what we have. Be thankful, have a good time and remember eat all you can and don’t forget the ice cream.

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