Well, here it is July 4th, 1942, and things are a-buzzing at 109 Liberty Street. Dad is churning the homemade ice cream, Uncle Matt is cutting the watermelon and Mom and Auntie are busy in the hot kitchen preparing all the good things we are about to receive. My, my, my, what a smell coming out the opened windows and doors, makes a little feller’s stomach growl with anticipation.
Looking up the “holler” I can see faces of people that have left to go to work in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana back home to celebrate. A lot of happy folks and their voices blend as they talk, sing, and whistle while waiting to sit down together to eat once again with family and friends.
I am about 9 and it is hot, hot, hot, and Mom lets me go out in the yard in my “drawer tail” while Uncle comes around the corner of the porch and souses me good with the water hose. “That’ll cool you down, Idy…does it now?” I yell back up at him not to stop but keep the water coming. All the kids watching in awe and up the holler they all go to make sure they end up under the family’s water hose, which they usually do.
My cousin Julian has come with his family from Louisville, Kentucky which they do each year to celebrate with us. He wanted to get into some meanness I suppose and my Mom was mad at our old cat which we named “Hitler” because he had a mustache and honestly reminded one of Hitler. Well, I watched from afar and did not know what they would end up doing so I kept my distance and all of a sudden my old cat started meowing to its highest as Julian and Mom tied several fire crackers to old Hitler’s tale and tossed him over our little porch. The fire crackers cracked, the cat meowed, Granny about fainted, and over in a corner sat Mom and Julian giggling cause they were afraid to laugh out loud. Our old cat was not hurt, but his nerves was shattered I am sure.
After filling my tummy full of good food and listening to Dad play the saw, Auntie playing her harmonica and songs going out on the evening breeze, and the heavenly aroma of Ralph’s freshly baked bread filling the air, I crawled up in Uncle’s lap there in the old porch swing and went to dreamland.