My Fellow Americans,

Happy post-Independence Day weekend. I trust yours was fodder for good memories and recollections. I suppose that holidays lend themselves to that: markers of our lives.

For me, Independence Day was no less. We spent it with friends old and new, eating, talking, imbibing, laughing, and cavorting as much as you can at a family-friendly, age-appropriate quasi-public gathering. I trust that your celebration was like ours: a beer-, brat-, and s’more-laden marathon of an afternoon. And, similarly, I pray that your end result landed on the safe side of catastrophic.

The weekend for that matter was filled with wonderful symmetry. The 4th of July was book-ended with a visit to an old Peruvian friend’s family on Friday and a day of freelance work for a new client, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, on Sunday.

Our family is fortunate to have a broad range of friends from many walks of life. Independence Day presented us with an excuse to gather together everyone we could muster. It was a nice amalgamation to see. A multi-age, guitar/bass/drum trio of friends jammed in the open garage. Kids ran around with water guns then coasted down the long drive on scooters.

I was assigned to (awarded?) the post of “Assistant Grill Master” by the Grill Master himself, a Trinidadian friend, whose dialect inhibits the “th” sound to a greater degree. We had fun with that, discussing whether we were handling the chicken-and-mozzarella sausages with a tongs or thongs. Interesting mental image. In the end, “Dee sausages were out of dis world.” Even our host, Nay-tan, tought so.

Sweetwater Brewery’s new brew, Dank Tank (let’s not delve into the nomenclature) bolstered the supply of beverage. The self-proclaimed “jackass concoction” was thanks to a friend who showed up in full Independence regalia: an American flag kerchief; polyester-blended, butterfly-collared, opaque print of Betsy Ross, sewing the first flag; and white-rimmed aviator glasses (to tie it all together). He’s 24 and can get away with such.

Taking a safer “festive” route, I covered my cranium with my official, once-a-year party hat, a vintage Brooks Brothers boater. Sitting around the fire (yes, there was fire…in a spot previously devoid of a fire pit), I spoke with a father figure, the man from whom I got the boater years ago. We shared a 24-ounce bottle of Dank Tank, which, at 10.XX% alcohol/volume, proceeded to spank and yank…in a good way. (Do they call them “high gravity beers” because after you consume one, you swear that gravity just doubled, pulling you towards the earth more so than normal?) More important than most aspects of the evening was talking with friends and seeing our kids play together.

So here’s to freedom, friends, and making today better than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow. Cheers.

« »