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Fourth Of July In Belhaven

2013/07/04

There used to be a bumper sticker that read “4th of July in Belhaven”. This was in the 70’s, I suppose.

I’m sure I’ve discussed Belhaven before. The town is on a peninsula in Beaufort County, NC. It’s South of Hyde County & North of Pamlico Co by road.

My parents grew up there. Dad’s folks were from Bertie Co. & Washington, the county seat of Beaufort. Not to be mistaken with the charming town of Beaufort south of Belhaven near Morehead.

Mom grew up there. Dad was born in Norfolk, lived in Manteo & moved to Belhaven when he was about 12.

Anywho, there is a big Independence Day celebration in Belhaven every year. The town swelled from about 2000 folks to about 20,000 when I was a kid.

And, I could sit on Granny’s front porch on Main St. & watch it all. It was the most fun. At 9 pm, Avon Skin So Soft slathered on, we went a block over to Aunt Nellie’s to watch the fireworks from her pier. The story of the year the whole caboodle of fireworks exploding prematurely & the (possibly inebriated) operators diving into the water to escape was often retold.

When I was 12 the small community where we lived had its first 4th of July celebration. This was in Beaverdam, Hanover Co, VA. It was 1976, the Bicentennial. I remember the lady who organized it all riding into the Ruritan park on the hood of a white car.

My friend’s Mom was an artist, and both of her parents were a lot of fun. Her Dad had an old open box truck from the 30’s or 40’s. Barb J painted the stars & stripes on the truck & my 2 best friends & I spent a few 4ths (into our early 20’s!) on the back of that truck in the parade. I’ll have to find a picture.

Afterwards we’d go to Lake Anna & ski. Fun, fun times. I always missed Belhaven, though. It was hard to go back after Granny & Memom weren’t there anymore. However, I have lots of relatives there & spent several 4ths there in recent years.

One year my friend and I went to the park here in Richmond. There is a stage called Dogwood Dell & we sat on a blanket & listened to Patriotic music & mellowed way out. They had fireworks there. Later, we were driving on a parkway & pulled over (along with many others!) to watch the fireworks from the baseball diamond.

Tim likes a quiet 4th. We love to watch the Boston Pops & fireworks on PBS. A few years ago our elder son was in Boston on the 4th & saw this stunning fireworks display live.

Today has been mellow. Took a walk with Penny the dog & my sweet friend TT. I also sat in the sun awhile. Decided if I wasn’t doing any house or yard work I was not going to feel guilty, just enjoy it.

Our Internet & TV (Fios) have been down since last night. They are supposed to come & hopefully fix it by 2 pm. If not, I may just drag Tim to some live fireworks.

I’ve had a hard time reading books lately. I’ve gotten so into long-form magazine articles, I wonder if that is why. I ordered Tom Grimes’s novel City of God a while back. The book is stamped “no longer the property of Spokane library”, which amused me.

Ta!

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