July Fourth has a robust history in Wake Forest. I hope you enjoyed the free fireworks program at Heritage High School last Friday night on Facebook. An online celebration is a first for us, and I hope you were able to enjoy it. Many people have worked to make sure we have a way to celebrate our freedom.
How did you survive through the 90-plus degree temperature on Saturday, July Fourth? The heat is not new for us on July Fourth. Since 1973 — when the Wake Forest July Fourth fireworks program followed by a children’s parade, games, and special activities the next day all started — everything has worked out well most years. The only exceptions I can remember are some light rain a few years ago, and a complete rain-out several years before that, along with hail which caused some damage to cars.
I remember the first few years when I was shooting pictures down on the field. A few years later I joined the celebration committee. A few years after that, our then Uncle Sam moved to another city, I was appointed to that position because of my beard. And I kept that job for about 10 years. I loved it because so many little children wanted their picture taken with me. Others held roles as Uncle Sam or Lady Liberty through the years — Bonnie Johnson, Bill Brown, and Ryan Keith come to mind.
The only problem with that job was the heat build-up from that all-black tall derby hat with no vent holes causing a lot of discomfort in hot weather, and also the polyester long-sleeve, red, white and blue suit.
There are two or three things I really miss from the parade and games afterward, including shooting pictures of kids eating small pies without using their hands in a speed competition. They provide the most interesting subjects, and they also make you wish you were a youngster again.
Surviving quarantine real test
Most of us are really getting awfully tired of being almost completely homebound in order to abide by our Gov. Roy Cooper’s encouragement. But, all North Carolinians need to abide by his direction, though. This is especially needed in order to help keep our COVD-19 cases lower. Did you notice how the number of cases jumped considerably after July Fourth weekend, which was a break for lots of people who had been quarantined for a long time — especially on Miami and California beaches?
I do enjoy the family time, though. Jimmy and Ginger’s daughter, Ruthie, age 23, who just graduated last year from UNC-Chapel Hill, watched a great movie with me last week called “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Conner. It was first released in 1952.
Ruthie has a new job in Durham, but during the COVD-19 epidemic, she is doing what most people are doing — staying home and doing all her work from home. The time spent traveling can now be spent on your favorite things to do at home after your office work is completed.
It seems to be working out very well, at least from what I hear and from what Ruthie says. Her two younger sisters, Maggie and Mae, are either working at home or working part-time where Maggie had worked before college. Mae helps out with suppers at home. I know this is a big help for their mom, Ginger, because she is tired when returning from her custom jewelry shop on South White Street in Wake Forest.
It’s times like these when parents are glad they took the time to teach their offspring how to cook and prepare meals.
Oops, I almost forgot that both Mae and Maggie are also doing some school work daily online at home.
Thanks for reading this column, and good luck on staying at home and coping with the careful attention to ourselves as mandated by our governor to help us get rid of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 984-235-7294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.