Fourth of July on Our Block

Jul 01 2013 0 Comments 4th of July Holiday

When I was a kid, we lived in a small working class suburb of Philadelphia.  The street we lived on was home to a bunch of kids of all different ages.  I remember a Chavelle, Billy, Kyle, Floyd, Nicola, Lakeicia and Susan.  During the summer we spent most of our days outside playing together.  We enjoyed riding our bikes and skateboards, playing kickball, dodgeball or street hockey, or jumping rope.  Yes, double dutch.

On the 4th of July we pretty much hung out together just like any other day.  On our block there were usually about 3-4 families that had cookouts.  There was no such thing as a formal invitation to someone's backyard barbecue.  We all just showed up, grabbed some food, and relaxed for a little bit.  Then we continued playing in the street until hunger again struck.  My favorite was the across-the-street lady's cookout.  I loved her baked beans.  She used pineapples to sweeten them.  Decades later I can still taste them.  I was also partial to burgers, and I enjoyed hers.  She added bread to her patties, along with some other "secret" seasonings that made them taste different from any burger I have ever had.

At night on the 4th of July all of the neighborhood kids continued to hang out together on our block.  It was fireworks time.  I do not remember there being any formal fireworks show close to my home.  Maybe there was.  But I do not recall ever going.  I do remember that we had our own little fireworks extravaganza.  We purchased boxes of "Easy-Lite" sparklers, cherry bombs, firecrackers, and caps from the local Woolworth's.  In the dark night we ran around the street lighting sparklers, throwing caps on the ground, and exploding cherry bombs and firecrackers.  We jumped, screamed, giggled and squealed.  Tired from a long day of playing and eating, we all went inside our homes, looking forward to the next day when we would again all enjoy another summer day on our block.

What was your favorite 4th of July activity as a kid?  What are doing this year?


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