Half-awake on a January morning, I hear a lawnmower and think of summer. Then I'm fully awake and realize that my neighbor is clearing the ten inches of overnight snow with his snowblower. The warmth of summer stays with me until I throw off the covers and begin the process of going to work on a winter morning. Certain sounds can recreate a July day. The whine of a lawnmower. The rumble as my neighbor Mike starts up his Harley. The hum of traffic from I-25 when a west wind blows. The shrieks of children playing. The drone of a small plane as it takes off from our neighbor, the airport. Dogs bark, doves coo. Late at night, I can hear that lonesome train whistle blow. The windows are wide open (no air conditioning) and the world comes in.
Javier Gamboa, Wyoming Democratic Party communications manager, wrote a thoughtful Fourth of July essay about his undocumented status and why immigration reform is crucial. It's one thing to stand on a Murrieta, California, road and yell epithets at Salvadoran children. It's yet another to actually know and work with someone who travelled the same hard road. Javier was 11 when he came to Wyoming from Mexico. He learned the language, graduated from high school and UW and now criss-crosses the state on behalf of Dem candidates. Read Javier's essay here. And then e-mail Rep. Cynthia Lummis and demand that she and her fellow Know Nothings get their butts in gear on immigration.
So glad that I had a chance to see 1776 the movie on TCM Friday afternoon. I sat down with a turkey sandwich and switched on
the tube, wondering if there wasn't some quirky, melodramatic 1940s film
to pass the time between bites. Instead I got 1776, which I'd
never seen, not on the stage nor on the screen. The film was released in
1972, when I was 21. Those hot and argumentative days of 1776 in Philly
seemed a long way from those hot and argumentative days of summer 1972.
Forty-some years later, the heat and the arguments only seem to be
getting worse. But that's American history. Heat and light, substance
and folly -- it's all there, if you only know where to look. Don't
bother with school textbooks. All the life has been squeezed out of the
stories you read about in fourth grade. Right-wing zeolots want to turn
our founding fathers into cardboard saints. We lefties treat them as
dysfunctional parents. In 1776, we see Franklin
and Adams and Jefferson as humans. That was refreshing in its day and
still is. Here's a Popwatch columnist writing about ten reasons to watch 1776 in 2014.
A final Fourth of July weekend note.... my garden, decimated by hail two weeks ago, is showing signs of recovery. My Homeslice tomato plant was sliced up by marbles of ice. One lone stem with one lone leaf remained, but now another is growing out below. My Early Girl tomato is blooming and has at least one tiny green tomato showing. The season has been delayed but with a little TLC and a lot less hail, I will have veggies yet.