was a great holiday at Bon and very exciting for everyone. Mom and Dad
went all out. So did everyone in the mining camp. Mom fried a lot
of chicken early in the morning before it got too hot and baked extra biscuits.
This is what we had to eat on all day. With all the other goodies, it was
a real picnic on our back porch. Dad had a washtub with a big block of
ice and filled it with all flavors of Nehi pop and Coco Cola. Another tub
had the ice broken up into chunks with watermelon and enough water to cover
the melons. The tubs were covered with canvases to keep the ice from melting
too fast. Then the good part: the ice cream freezer! Mom made the mixture
with milk that had a lot of cream in it. Her recipe was the best. We all
took turns turning the crank and Dad would keep the small chunks of ice
packed around the ice cream container in the freezer and sprinkled salt
around to keep the ice melting just right.
boys had firecrackers and only they could light them. At that time there
about two sizes
of firecrackers, and most families had a few roman candles. Later at night
after the celebration was winding down, we would hear these big blasts
and we knew Red and his buddies had gotten into the powder house where
all the explosives were kept. They would take the empty carbide cans, put
drops of water in them, put the cover back on with a lighted match inside
and throw it. When the gas built up from the carbide, it would really blow.
Dad pretended he was wondering where those blasts were coming from but
he knew Red and the boys were celebrating "Big Time". We didn't have the
media then but we didn't need the news to let us know that it was a wonderful
day to appreciate the independence of our country. The flags were waving
then as they do now.
Oh, and I
can't forget to mention Mom's lemonade. She had a gallon glass jug that
looked like a barrel. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and slices of lemon
were used. It looked so good sititng on a small table that Dad had made.
This was all prepared from scratch. With no tin foil, paper towels, saran
wrap or Tupperware - none of the things to make life easier. If all these
modern conveniences make life easier, why don't we have time to sit and
visit with our families after a day's work? Sometimes I feel so ashamed
when I think of how my folks did so much without the modern things we have
now and I still can't accomplish what they did in a day and have the feeling
of satisfaction that I know they felt.
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