June 29, 2018


We all know the history of our Independence Day, but many of us forget that it wasn’t official until 1941.  Inspired by Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense,” our Continental Congress voted for independence from England in 1776. 

Although we celebrated the date from 1776, the war of 1812 inspired renewed enthusiasm for the holiday.  Now days the celebration has become less patriotic.  Here in San Diego there are celebrations all over the city with legal fireworks everywhere, and illegal ones bursting out in strange places.  Surrounding us we have Sea World, Ocean Beach out on the pier, and La Jolla.  If you drive to the top of the Point, you can also watch the fireworks off five barges on San Diego Bay plus the best ones in Coronado Island.  Boom indeed.

In OB, families party on the beach.  Folks show up at six am to save favorite spots to watch the fireworks.  I got that job more than once.  There used to be marshmallow wars. The sidewalks and sands were clogged with the sugary treats.  Little cities bloom in the sand too.  Flags big and small wave in the breeze.  Tents grow…giant ones.  At the surf line folks still throw Frisbee’s.  And as the day fades away, hundreds of folk head for the water carrying their surfboards. Their aim, to sit under the fireworks at the end of the pier.

This year, G has to go to work early the next day.  The holiday was fun when we lived right there and could walk to the beach.  Then we would come home and sit on the front steps to watch the tourists all leave, at once, toward the freeway.  Now we have to drive too…like thousands of others.  Traffic is beyond fierce, and tho we know all the secret byways, traffic in OB on the 4th is still a nightmare. 

Did I mention the fog?

  • Himself:  Working from 6 again.  He was a horrible grump yesterday.  Got the BBQ out of storage from an exceptionally rude caretaker.  I think he’s going to quit this job.
  • Me:  Working in the back room.  The food is going to be fun, but I am not scrubbing the BBQ ever again.  Tomorrow morning is the Celebration of Life for Claudia at 9.  In the afternoon, at 3, is Robin and Glen’s wedding….in fog at Mission Bay. I got one of my sketches framed for them.  I was going to wear my good mumu, now with tights and shirt under it.
  • Reading:  The last Hillerman by Hillerman.
  • Gratitude’s:  Slept well, got a sketch framed and wrapped for the wedding, walked twice this week, am grateful for the sunshine over our June Gloom.


  1. NIce perspective on the holiday Mage, thanks. We used to live near a Seattle lake that had fireworks on the 4th, we too walked down and back home and then watched all the people trudging back up to their cars and the freeway. Now everyone crowds into the community college to watch the sendup. We go uphill near our airport and sit on chairs by a wheatfield and watch. Much easier. Lots of company but easier to get home by far.

  2. This is our National holiday weeked, Canada Day on the 1st. Much younger country, 1867 and more recent celebrations. We always celebrate at home with family. We have far fewer people, by the millions. I like to stay home away from the few people we have here. I’d never venture out in the traffic you experience. Have a great weekend and enjoy the 4th!

  3. What a superb recap of our national holiday. It is much the same for us, here on the north shore (of Lake Erie. Figure that one out!).

  4. Sounds like quite a festive time. We will look for quiet spot for our fireworks or we'll watch from the bedroom window again.

  5. I miss the 4th's of my youth when we would spend the whole day competing in fun games from baseball to water sports, picnicked with neighbors, then found a spot around the lake to watch a fairly impressive fireworks show. My friend who still lives on that lake says now all they do is have a sermon in the morning and fire off a homemade cannon. Here I do nothing more than putting a flag on my gate. Kind of sad.

  6. You had a very busy day! I'd love a bit of your June gloom up here! I finally caved and turned the a/c on about an hour ago. It was a toasty 87 deg. indoors! Being out in the cool June gloom sounds nice... Again, my condolences on the loss of your friend Claudia. She looked and sounded like a woman I would have loved to know.


What a delight to get a note from you. Thanks for leaving one.


Bob Seger and his wonderful Silver Bullet Band. George hadn’t made it all the way through the 1983 Bob Seger San Diego t...