It’s the Fourth of July and it is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. It is easy to remember past 4th of Julys with family and friends. So in today’s blog let me tell you about some of my past memories of July 4th.

I have always been fascinated with fireworks. Blowing them up myself and watching the big fireworks. My earliest memory of the Fourth of July is in the basement of our house when we lived in New Ulm. I was about 10 years old when my dad took my brothers and sister down in the basement and we put a single firecracker under a soup can and dad would light it and the can would go flying. He would do that over and over. He would let me light the fuse and then we would run. Why we did that in the basement and not outside I don’t know. It was so much fun and I remember laughing with my dad and brothers and sister.

Some of my best memories are at the lake with Roxie’s family. Roxie’s family has a lake cabin on Enemy Swim near Waubay, South Dakota. While we were dating in high school, I spent most of my summers at Enemy Swim. Fourth of July was a pretty big deal when lots of family would show up with hundreds of dollars of fireworks. In the evening everyone would gather on the beach around the campfire and some of us pyromaniacs would stand on the dock and light off firework after firework. The neighbors were doing the same thing so it was the best fireworks show around. One time, Roxie’s mom Evelyn was sitting in her lawn chair up by the cabin and my nephew Cory Loterbauer lit a bottle rocket on the dock and it got turned around and went right at Evelyn and blew up underneath her lawn chair. She screamed just a little bit and then yelled at Cory. So funny. Some great memories doing fireworks at the lake.

I think my best memory was when my four children were young and we went on vacation over the Fourth of July to Yellowstone. We spent a few days tent camping near Billings Montana. We had a perfect campsite over looking Billings Montana. We were on a hill looking at the city lights of Billings and the fireworks were close to us. It was a beautiful site. The kids loved it. I wish I would have had a cell phone then to take pictures and videos. Our family loved to tent camp and that particular Fourth of July was very memorable.

I was looking at my Facebook memories on this 4th of July. My memory page was full of fireworks and parade pictures from years past. In 2014 we had all our grandchildren in our backyard. I remember taking them to South Dakota the day before and we bought a couple hundred dollars worth of fireworks. After grilling hot dogs and the sun was setting we broke out the hundreds of sparklers we bought. The grandkids were having so much fun with them. Then we sat in our neighbor’s back yard and watched the Madison fireworks. So many great memories with the grandkids when they were little. They loved doing fireworks with grandpa.

As I am older now, I still enjoy watching fireworks. Roxie and I went over to the little town of Rosen Saturday night. They were having a big church celebration along with the Fourth of July. We parked about 1/2 mile out of town with a perfect view of the fireworks over the tree line. We brought some snacks and pop and enjoyed a really good fireworks display. A good fireworks display always bring a smile to my face. Happy 4th!

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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