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How Many 4th of July's Does this Make it For You?

It was 4th of July, 1976 when I was 11 ½ years old and I can still vividly remember all the fuss and excitement about our country’s 200th birthday – the bicentennial.

Preparations for that day had been in process since the prior summer. Now keep in mind, this was long before the internet, CNN, Fox News, etc. Heck it was pretty much before cable TV.

But somehow, everyone seemed to get the word about the big celebration.  Back then, “the word” was carried by newspapers, the evening news, and good ole fashioned word of mouth.

The big celebration was intended for every American, without exception.  So with red, white, and blue the theme of the year, there was a big event scheduled for 2pm eastern on July 4, 1976. 

And that was for everyone to hoot, holler, blow their car horns, and make all kinds of noises in celebration!

I thought that was one of the coolest things I had ever heard of (remember, I was 11 years old) so I eagerly waited for the big moment.  Our family was visiting relatives at a small Lake Ontario cottage in upstate New York.  Not far from Watertown, NY and even closer to Canada where I understood they didn’t have the same plans as us even though they weren’t far at all.

So I remember going to sit in my parent’s car about 1:30pm that afternoon, way ahead of time for  the big 2pm fanfare.  It seemed like the clock would never reach top of the hour.

But when it did, I blew the car horn for a solid 2-3 minutes yelling HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

There! I had done it. I had played my part in what was at that time one of the biggest celebrations that I knew of (remember, I was 11 years old).

The rest of the day was spent in the lake, chasing frogs, having a cookout, and of course the evening bonfire when it got dark.  Oh yeah, and roasting marshmallows before we tried to catch as many fireflies as we could (which wasn’t that many).

Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that was 48 4th of July’s ago for me.  But every year I remember that specific instance. That celebration, where at least in my 11-year-old mind every American was cheering and celebrating for the same reasons…

So as I think back and realize how much our country has changed and in so many ways advanced since then on so many fronts, I also realize that for some people they may feel like they are stuck in a time machine because maybe not much has changed for them since then.

Anyways, I’d love to hear some of your favorite 4th of July stories… Young or old, doesn’t matter. 

You can send me a message at this link and it will come straight to my Inbox.

In a few short years our country will turn 250 years old and wherever I am on that day, I promise you I’ll be blowing my car horn at exactly 2pm eastern on that day.  Just like I will be next Tuesday.

Have a happy and safe holiday.

God Bless the USA!

Tom Winterstein, MBACertified Mental Performance CoachChartPros Founder 

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