Friday, July 02, 2010

Flashback Friday: Patriotism

I'm late with this week's Flashback Friday, but since I missed last week, I wanted to go ahead and post it late rather than not at all. We've had another busy week, but I think we might be able to slow down and have a more "normal" week (whatever that might be!) next week. But then the next week Andrew comes home and there we'll go again . . . 
This week's Flashback has to do with patriotism and Independence Day when we were children:
When you were growing up, did your family do anything special to celebrate Independence Day or other patriotic occasions? Did you hang a flag? What about neighborhood or town parades, picnics, neighborhood parties, etc.? Did you attend fireworks displays? Were personal fireworks permitted where you lived and, if so, did your family do them?
 Our family was not hugely patriotic, as in waving flags and going to parades and decorating the house, but we did celebrate on the 4th of July, and the concept of God and Country was important to us. We believed - and still do - that God's hand was active in the beginning of America and that we've come a long way from what the Founding Fathers had in mind for our country.

I don't remember any specific July 4th celebrations when I was a young girl. As I got older, though, we began going to the Greer (SC) Baptist Campmeeting that was held every year during the week of Independence Day. That campmeeting is still conducted to this day, and it's something I'd love to do again if we're ever visiting my hometown during that week. When I was a girl, the campmeeting was held under an open-air tabernacle, which was basically a roof held up by wooden poles with sawdust for the flooring. There were bathrooms available, and the water fountains were long troughs with a fountain bubbler every couple of feet, so a lot of people could drink at once. It was hot, blazing hot - upstate South Carolina in July! Each wooden pew had a hymnal rack on the back, and along with the hymnals were those paper fans with a funeral home ad on the front stapled to a tongue-depressor-type stick. Those things were wonderful when you were roasting under that tabernacle! The various churches involved would bring their choirs to sing on designated nights, and several local singing groups would sing special music. There would be testimonies many times of what God was doing in individual lives, often with tears and shouting. Then we'd have preaching! We heard evangelists such as Billy Kelly, Bobby Grubbs, and Tom Hayes, all well-known in our area and circle of fellowship. Preaching would last till late at night, and then there was fellowship with all our friends from other churches. And on the 4th of July, there was a big meal - burgers and dogs or BBQ? - and all the ladies would bring food to add to the potluck. Hot and humid, but delicious food!

Nowadays, there's a new tabernacle with nice bathrooms and water fountains, but from what I understand, the preaching and spirit of the services is still like it was 30 years ago.

Living in Canada now, we celebrate Canada Day, which was yesterday, July 1st. It's basically the same as America's Independence Day, but without the intense American patriotism I grew up with. My first official blog post was five years ago on Canada Day; you can get a glimpse of my impressions of the holiday in that post. This year we spent some time with friends, eating burgers and playing volleyball.


  1. LOL - Your post made me picture the tabernacle at the youth camp we went to in high school!

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. As hot as it has been here, I can't imagine sitting out in the heat for a service!! Those are unique memories of the Fourth, tho.

  3. The campmeeting sounds great!

    Growing up we always watched fireworks, and we usually had a picnic in the backyard of one of our grandparents.

    I don't expect to watch fireworks for a few years because: 1) my daughter would be scared to death of them, and 2) they start so late since it gets dark late so my daughter would be cranky since it would be way past her bedtime. :-)

  4. Hi Susan--Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoy the pie recipe. Growing up the 4th was full of family activities at my grandparent's cabin on the lake. Fireworks were enjoyed by boat on the lake.

  5. Linda ~~ I'm sure it was very similar! You don't see old tabernacles like that any more.

    Barbara ~~ I know! It never used to bother me. But the Greer campmeeting is going strong. I think it's still in the open air, just a better shelter.

    Tammy ~~ Maybe the baby will not be so afraid as she gets older. My kids have always enjoyed the colors.

    Kim ~~ My pie is sitting on the counter cooling as I write! I can't wait to try it!


Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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