Here we are, deep into the heart of the extended Fourth of July weekend, the time of parades, fireworks, family celebrations, and that one person who may just be an extra beer and a large firecracker away from picking up the unfortunate nickname of “Stumpy.”
You know, this may seem strange, but I’ve always thought of the Fourth as the most “Yooper” of holidays. How, you ask? Well, I answer…
One of the hallmarks of being a “Yooper” is helping out. Your neighbor needs something? You help them out. Kids trying to raise money for a school project? You help them out. And more than any other holiday, with everything that’s going on, the Fourth of July asks a group of your neighbors to follow that one basic definition of being a Yooper: helping out.
Think of the parades, fireworks, food festivals, fundraisers, concerts, races, reunions, ball tournaments, fishing derbies, and everything else that goes into making the Fourth the Fourth. It takes a LOT of work to make it all happen. And in every community, there’s a core group of people who tackle that task each and every year.
And it seems like the smaller the town the bigger the commitment of that core group. So tonight or tomorrow, as you’re out enjoying fireworks or band concerts or laser shows and you see one of the people who’s helped put it on, let them know you appreciate what they’re doing. Thank them for helping out, for giving up countless hours of their summer, and for showing everyone what it means to be a Yooper.
After all, without all those volunteers you’d probably just be sitting around your backyard with a sparkler and a burned hot dog going, “Yay. This is fun.”
Enjoy the Fourth of July. Have a great time with family and friends. Throw some love to the people who are organizing your local events.
And be careful with the beer and the fireworks out there, as well. After all, we don’t want YOU to be the friend that we have to start calling “Stumpy.”
I’m Jim Koski, and that’s another slice of “Life in the 906.”