Southern Man

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day 2007

As his academic building is closed tomorrow for some much-needed air-conditioning repair, July 4 kicks off a five-day weekend for Southern Man. And a busy day it was, too.

Actually the first project began yesterday evening. The AC in Southern Man's two-stry duplex doesn't do much upstairs. It's been an unseasonably cool June and so far just keeping the windows open has kept the girl's bedroom and Southern Man's study at least bearable, but July and August are nigh so last nigt Southern Man dropped by Wal-Mart and picked up a couple of 6000-BTU window air conditioners for the upstairs bedrooms. The first went into the girl's bedroom easily enough but Southern Man decided that he needed a bigger unit for the study and traded it in for an 8000 this morning. But no time to install that one - Southern Man then picked up his dad and took him out to The Land to inspect some electrical work and identify some flora. Southern Man is on the schedule to get electric service run out to his workshop (which does not yet have electricity - he built it with hand tools and a circular saw run from a generator) and noted that the co-op has already been out and flagged the route for the wire, so he's got to get out there tomorrow morning and make sure everything on his end is ready. Then he ran his dad home, did a few chores and ran to a few stores, then he and teenage son headed back to his parents for dinner, dominoes, and the local fireworks show.

For a relatively small suburb, said local fireworks show was pretty good. The venue was the large park in the center of town, and there were plenty of food vendors and good live music and lots of free watermelon. Special musical guest was the local philharmonic and choral, which put on an hour-long concert. They kicked off with Copeland's Hoedown from Rodeo, This Is My Country, the St. Louis Blues March, and Leroy Anderson's Bugler's Holiday with the unusual twist of having the bugle part played by a six-member harmonica ensenble. Next up were show tunes; a medley of Disney favorites, the Broadway version of Over The Rainbow, and Jimmie Webb's Macarthur Park. After crowd-pleasing renditions of Benny Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing and the classic tune Shenandoah, the orchestra launched into the patriotic portion of the program starting with the five "official" songs of the branches of the armed services. Naturally, servicefolk and veterans stood during their songs and Southern Man is proud to state that his immediate group had representatives from both the Army and the Air Force. Next was a wonderful arrangement of America The Beautiful (with the traditional lyrics, not the new politically-correct ones that are beginning to infiltrate these events) and (much to the chagrin of athiests, liberals, and other easily-offended types) a terrific performance of God Bless America and an arrangement of The Battle Hymn of the Republic that was commissioned for the National Symphony. The concert concluded with Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA, the full Broadway version of Oklahoma, The Star Spangled Banner (and of course everyone stood and sang) and finally John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever with the famous obligato played not on piccolo but harmonica!

Much to the delight of the crowd, the fireworks display began during the last chorus of Stars and Stripes Forever and continued to canned music for the better part of an hour.

All and all, a splendid way to spend the Fourth of July. All three kids are here tonight (their mom will pick up the girls in the morning) and Southern Man is just happy to have them all for a few hours. Hope your Fourth was equally wonderful!


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