"Good Old Summer Time"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, July 11, 2011

Forget what the calendar says or the weather “people” say, (who are wrong more than right), SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!

Some people believe Memorial Day launches summer others say the calendar’s June 21 date is officially the beginning, but neither are right.

It really is easy to tell when summer hits the Thumb of Michigan. Look down the streets at sights only seen during the summer season: Lines of cars at traffic lights and people hurrying in and out of shops. You actually have to be cautious walking on the sidewalks because they are so crowded.

Miniature golf courses, parks and beaches have sounds only heard in summer — shrieks, yells and laughter of kids of all ages having great family fun. Constant traffic in the boat ramps is another sign as anglers come and go hoping to fetch a fresh fish dinner (say that fast a few times). Docks and harbors have larger boats visiting looking for a berth for the night or fuel.

Summer is truly rolling along when the Fourth of July arrives. The date is a major drawing card for our area because we celebrate it with fantastic parades and fireworks. Communities this year spread the activities out to last the entire weekend. Visitors could catch parades and fireworks Saturday, Sunday and yet again on Monday.

In each town, parade goers line up chairs the day before assuring them the best seats to view the activities. Youngsters line the parade routes eagerly awaiting a chance to catch the candy, beads or milk cartons tossed from the floats. I only attended Port Austin’s fireworks, but I don’t think they could have been outdone by any others in the area.

I’ve watched the fireworks in my town for 50 years and As I Saw It: This year was the very best! The display lasted longer, had greater variety and each soared well up into the darkness on what was a perfect evening to enjoy them. Although many of our visitors had departed, other thumb residents took their place and loud cheers were heard as the rockets burst — YES SUMMER ARRIVED WITH A REAL BLAST!

As we enjoyed our festivities and barbecues with family and friends, we were mindful of the meaning of the Fourth of July — our independence. We all saluted our flag as it was proudly carried along parade routes. We honored our heroes with grateful hearts for their sacrifices and visited memorials displaying their names.

If you have been watching the news the past months, you have seen spots around the world where people are striving to obtain their independence. We need to implore our elected officials in Washington to preserve and protect our hard fought independence by unifying and re-instating our respected position in the world.

It has been reported 50 percent of those serving in congress are millionaires, which puts them out of touch with the common person in our country. They must, however, develop a workable budget and restructure the tax base — even if it means they will pay more. They need to acknowledge where the government’s funding came from: Many young families that have lost all they had.

After celebrating our country’s beginnings, let’s all demand our elected officials work together to renew hope and put pride back in America.


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