A Tragic Independence Day

They were gathered along the main street in downtown Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, to celebrate America’s Independence Day at the town’s Fourth of July parade. Mothers and fathers, son and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren all out for a fun day.

Then shots rang out. Chaos ensued. “Everyone was was running, hiding, and screaming,” a witness said. As of this writing, six people are dead and two dozen people have been taken to area hospitals with injuries. The shooter, who has yet to be apprehended or identified, is described as a white male, approximately 18 to 20 years old, with longer black hair, a small build, and wearing a white or blue T-shirt.

Police have said that a firearm has been recovered from the scene and it appeared the gunman was shooting from a roof. The weapon is described as a “high-powered rifle.”

So it’s once again time for our politicians, on America’s birthday, to send out thoughts and prayers. But take any meaningful action on gun control? Fuhgeddaboudit.

How many more tragedies like this must occur before we come to our senses?

TMP — My Nation On Its Birthday

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today is the 4th of July, America’s Independence Day. And I’m sorry folks, but I’m not feeling it. So here is my peevish post.

I’m just not in the mood to celebrate my nation’s birthday. It’s not so much apathy as it is frustration, disappointment, anger, and resentment.

There are powerful forces who want to suppress democracy in America. They gleefully pull the petals from the flower of freedom until there are no freedoms left, no justice for all, no liberty, no pursuit of happiness.

So you go ahead and enjoy your festivities, patriotically wave your flags, and set off your fireworks while so many watch in awe as our ship of state sails off into stormy seas.

I will stay home, far from the madding crowd, taking solace in the carefree little fireflies lighting the sky in my backyard. I will suffer in silence the grief I feel deep inside my heart for the impending death of my nation on its birthday.

Also written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (apathy), The Daily Spur (suppress), My Vivid Blog (petals), Word of the Day Challenge (powerful), Ragtag Daily Prompt (sail), and E.M.’s RandomWord Prompt (fireflies),

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — July 1st

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 1st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on July 1, 2017

Remember Your Dog This Weekend


Yes, it’s that time of the year again when America celebrates its birth. Independence Day. The Fourth of July. It’s a time for picnics, family, fun, and fireworks.

Most people love to go to their local fireworks displays. Since the 4th falls on a Tuesday this year, that means that localities will have their big fireworks shows on one of five nights. Some may have had them last night, since it was a Friday night. Others will have them either tonight, Sunday night, Monday night, or some will even have the patience to wait until the actual day to light up the night sky.

But while humans are oooohing and aaaahing at these beautiful, magnificent, stunning displays that celebrate the birth of our nation, our beloved canine family members are not going to be very happy.

No dog that I know of, and certainly not our family dog, loves fireworks. Over the next four nights, we will either have to take our dog out for its last walk of the day before it gets dark and the explosions commence, or very late after the last of the fireworks has been launched.

Because during the fireworks, while people are oooohing and aaaahing, our own terrified dog will be shaking like a leaf, whimpering, sitting in the bath tub, in a windowless bathroom while we are playing loud music in an attempt to drown out the sound of the exploding chaos going on all around us until quiet and calm have returned.

This post is in response to today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt: ooooh and aaaah.

Who Won the Week — 7/4/2021

Today’s Who Won the Week is going to be a little different. Today, being July 4th, America’s Independence Day, I’m going to create a little bit of fiction about the dystopian future that is evolving in the United States. At least I hope it’s fiction.

“Today is July Fourth, students,” the teacher said to her ninth grade social studies class. “Does anyone know the significance of this date?”

One student raised her hand. “I do,” Debra said. “My grandfather told me that when he was a kid, people used to celebrate July Fourth by shooting off fireworks.”

“That’s right, Debra,” the teacher said. “Why did they set off fireworks on this day?”

Danny chimed in. “It had something to do with when the country was created and declared its independence from England.”

“And why don’t we celebrate the Fourth of July anymore?” the teacher asked.

Isabel called out, “It was forbidden after the Revolution of 2021,” she said, “when the followers of the glorious God Donald took back our country from the corrupt elitists who had stolen the election from their Lord and Master.”

“That’s right, Isabel,” the teacher said. “And what national holiday do we celebrate now, children, in place Independence Day?”

All the students stood up in unison, put their hands over their hearts, and turned to look at the large mural on the wall.

And they all yelled, “January Sixth, America’s Insurrection Day!”

Song Lyric Sunday — California Dreamin’

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams is celebrating the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, by asking us focus on American music, which is any song played by an American group. I was originally going to go with Simon & Garfunkel’s “America,” but then I remembered that I had already used that song for a Song Lyric Sunday post on October 6, 2019.

So then it was back to the drawing board. And that’s when I came up with “California Dreamin’” from the Mamas and the Papas. Few songs evoke the warmth and freedom of America’s dream with more beauty and charm than that song.

“California Dreamin’” was written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips and was first recorded by Barry McGuire. However, the best-known version is by the Mamas and the Papas, who sang backup on the original version. They released the song as a single in 1965.

When the group was just starting out in 1965, their friend Barry McGuire helped them get a contract with his record label, Dunhill Records. McGuire recorded the first version of the song with the Mamas and the Papas as his backing band and with a harmonica solo instead of a flute. The Mamas and the Papas then decided to record it on their own, with Denny Doherty (the other Papa) singing lead and with some chord changes he came up with after consulting the session guitarist, P.F. Sloan, who had him listen to “Walk – Don’t Run” by The Ventures. The results were impressive, and Dunhill Records agreed to use it as the group’s first single, holding off on McGuire’s version so there wouldn’t be competition from an established artist.

The single, though, was was not an immediate breakthrough. After gaining little attention in Los Angeles upon its release, a radio station in Boston was the catalyst to breaking the song nationwide. After making its chart debut in January 1966, the song peaked at No. 4 in March on the Billboard Hot 100, lasting 17 weeks.

Michelle Phillips explained that the song came about when she was newly married to John Phillips. They were living in New York City, which was having a particularly cold winter, at least by Michelle’s standards, as she was from sunny California. John would walk around the apartment at night working out tunes, and one morning brought the first verse of the song to Michelle. It was a song about longing to be in another place, and it was inspired by Michelle’s homesickness.

Here are the lyrics to the song.

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is grey (and the sky is grey)
I’ve been for a walk (I’ve been for a walk)
On a winter’s day (on a winter’s day)
I’d be safe and warm (I’d be safe and warm)
If I was in L.A. (if I was in L.A.)

California dreamin’ (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day

Stopped into a church
I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees (got down on my knees)
And I pretend to pray (I pretend to pray)
You know the preacher like the cold (preacher like the cold)
He knows I’m gonna stay (knows I’m gonna stay)

California dreamin’ (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is grey (and the sky is grey)
I’ve been for a walk (I’ve been for a walk)
On a winter’s day (on a winter’s day)
If I didn’t tell her (if I didn’t tell her)
I could leave today (I could leave today)

California dreamin’ (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day (California dreamin’)
On such a winter’s day