Six children enjoy a 4th of July celebration with their family and two special Uncles.
FOURTH OF JULY UNCLES!
One of my most vivid memories is of the Fourth of July when two of my favorite uncles and their families came to spend the holiday with us. Both uncles were big kids at heart. Uncle Joe played inside and outside games with us or roughhoused. Uncle Ron mostly played card games with us, either Rummy or Spades.
This particular holiday these uncles surprised all of us kids. They brought a huge bag full of caps for our cap guns.
"Come here, kids and see what we brought for all of you," Uncle Joe told us. We couldn't believe our eyes when the bag was opened and we saw all the bounty. This had the makings of a great day. Each kid was given a box or two of ammunition for their guns.
"Go on and get your cap guns, then we'll play some," said Uncle Ron.
The crowd of kids dispersed as each ran to find and load their mighty weapons. Together again, uncles and kids went outside. To our delight we found our uncles had brought their cap guns to play with us as well. No sitting on the sidelines for these two guys.
The day was bathed in sunshine and the temperature was comfortable for the middle of summer. The sun seemed to shine particularly for us as we stood in its glow deciding who was going to be the lawmen or the outlaws.
"Okay, who's going to be the good guys or the bad guys?" our oldest brother said. That was a tough choice since we all wanted to be the bad guys.
After much discussion Uncle Ron said, "How about we do this? Uncle Joe and I will be on different teams and we'll take one oldest, one middle and one youngest kid on our teams, that way it will be even."
Once we decided that the bad guys were outlaws and the good guys were the sheriff and his deputies, each group went off to make their seperate plans.
The sheriff and deputies set up the spot for the location of the town. The outlaws decided to come to town and get rowdy. They ran through the streets yelling, and shooting their guns at everyone. The sheriff and deputies tried to stop them, but a big gunfight started. Both sides found themselves running around the town, hiding in bushes, and behind trees trying to capture or shoot the other side.
The fighting became fierce - one side had the upper hand, then the other. The outlaws decided to make a run for it by going through the back door of the house, hoping to use it as a shortcut and escape out the front. The sheriff anticipated their move and came in the house through the front door with his deputies while the bad guys came charging into the living room. Catching the outlaws unaware, the sheriff and deptuies leveled their guns.
"All right, give up, we've got you covered," the sheriff told them. The bad guys stood firm, took aim and fired at the others. The sheriff and deputies dodged the bullets and fired at the outlaws. Their aim was straight. The outlaws grabbed their chests and fell to the floor dead, right in the middle of the living room. Yea! The good guys ruled over the bad.
There we were, the good guys, enjoying our victory; but the one thing we all heard - whether alive or dead - was Dad's voice.
"All right you kids, enough of this. No running through the house. Take it outside. Joe and Ron, you both know better."
They both turned to my dad and said, "Aw, come on, George, we're just playing."
Dad grinned, but we all went back outside and practiced shooting at targets for a while. Our uncles' took time away from us kids to be inside with their wives and our parents.
That evening we had a picnic supper. We roasted hot dogs and hamburgers, and ate potato salad or potato chips. The kids had Kool-Aid to drink while the adults had coffee and tea. We sat at various spots on the ground, chatting about the day. When supper was over, our uncles once again surprised us.
"Who wants a candy bar?" Uncle Joe asked, while holding up a couple bags of Snicker bars.
"We do!" rang out six children's voices as loudly as we could. What a treat!
Sitting outside we saw the sky open up with magical, brilliant, bursts of colors. Red, then blue, gold, yellow, white. Each pattern of fireworks brought a thrill of excitement to us.
"Did you see that one?" each would ask the one beside them.
"Oh, that was a pretty one, huh?"
We sat for the longest time watching the fireworks burst into rainbows of color in the night sky. It had been a perfect, special holiday. When I think of these two uncles, that special Fourth of July comes to mind with loving memories.
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