Laverne is where 4th of July is AT!
I loved it as a kid - the candy at the parade, the friends over swimming in the afternoon, the turtle races, the fireworks at the football field.
I loved it as a teen - the 'big kids' back, just like at Homecoming, seeing friends in the middle of the summer, the fireworks, the dance.
I love it now - the reunion that it is, the small town patriotism that is so alive and well I had a lump in my throat more than once on Thursday. The things that never change, the things that do - that needed to.
I LOVE it.
Here are a few of my thoughts on why and how Laverne does it so well...
You can eat 3 square (-ish, I don't think I saw any vegetables at the park! ;-)) meals on 'free will donation'. And folks, it's this way because the organizations that these meals benefit make way more money due to generous donations than if they'd set a price.
It's a place where you can 1. be like me and post so many pictures on Facebook of your offspring that everyone knows that way or 2. teach your children your maiden name so they'll be linked up with the right family; and then just let them loose! This village will not only help you look out for your babies, but spank them if they need it or kiss a boo-boo when that's what's needed!
In Laverne on the 4th, a turtle may not just be a turtle...but a champion.
The tradition of the 4th is so deep and means so much that I saw some elderly people and some newborns in the park on a 90 degree evening. It didn't hurt them one bit, but I bet they don't choose to have dinner there just any old day.
4th of July in Laverne is a place where your babies become friends with the babies of the people you became friends with when you were babies...on the same merry go 'round. (Whew!)
Being from Laverne means that you correct your two year olds that 'It's a TIGER, not a LION!' with a sense of urgency and outrage that hardly matches the offense!
It's a time to introduce your children to Dumdums and Smarties, to Tootsie Rolls and Super Bubble.
Anyway...I kinda love it.