Thursday, July 3, 2008

Flashback Friday

My earliest memory of fireworks and the Fourth of July took place when I was 4 or 5. I had a best friend named Carrie and her dad had a sailboat. I guess our whole family was friends, my dad was first mate when her dad raced his boat and my mom and hers exchanged recipes and children. Carrie was the middle child with 2 brothers. Her room was everything pink and white and frilly that I envied--complete with a Strawberry Shortcake bedspread. I could be blindfolded today and led into her house and I'd know it by the smell--of food and a small dog and something warm and yeasty in the air. Her mom made grilled cheese sandwiches with Wonder Bread and Velveeta--not at all the way my mom made them.

But I digress.

Was there any other flavor? Oh yeah, Cream Soda. Ick.

Every year until we moved (when I was in 2nd grade) we'd set sail into Lake Michigan. Bundled into our Toughskins and sweatshirts and cumbersome orange life preservers with canvas straps, Carrie and I would sit on the front of the boat and talk about the Mandrell Sisters, the Osmonds, Barbies and sailing together around the whole world. It would turn darker and we'd join our families on the other end of the boat for Jolly Good Cola (grape!) and Jiffy Pop Popcorn. At dusk her father would turn the boat so it faced the shoreline and drop anchor.

Carrie would be Barbara, which made sense since she could sing. I would be Louise because I had brown hair.
With our backs pressed against the cool white surface of the boat's deck, Carrie and I would gaze skyward, ready to spy the first explosion. The colors, the sound, the spangle, the sparkle was amplified. In my mind those will always be the best fireworks in the history of Green Girl.

Half the fun was watching the dome rise out of the pan! And that smell...


  1. So much fun!

    My cousins and I would play Charlie's Angels, Nancy Drew, and (once or twice) the Mandrell Sisters.

  2. I used to love listening to Barbara Mandrell and her sisters sing! I somehow misplaced all my tapes of her...bummer!

  3. Lovely post. Hope you guys have a wonderful 4th!

  4. I never got Jiffy Pop! My mom thought it was "high end".

  5. Have a lovely 4th July!

    I wish we had something like that here - ...the Irish have St Patricks day...the Scots have St Andrew's day....and we just let St Georges day pass us by!

    I will think of fireworks tonight!

  6. What great memeories. Thanks for sharing. My sisters and I spent many an hour singing into the back of our hairbrushes as the Mandrell Sisters.

  7. What lovely memories. My favorite detail was how you coveted the Strawberry Shortcake bedspread. Little memories like that enrich everybody's lives!

  8. My Jiffy Pop days were few, but well-remembered. Loved that stuff.

    I totally love cream soda. Sorry. :-)

    There's nothing better than watching the fireworks from a boat. Once, I got to do that out in Long Island Sound. Lake Michigan would be just as amazing.

  9. Oooooooh, I remember the Mandrell Sisters Show. I was the one with brown hair, too!

  10. I love everything about those memories.

    But did your Jiffy Pop explode and pelt your kitchen with millions of kernels? Or did I just have dozens of defective Jiffy Pops?

    Also, I loved the Mandrell sisters...



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