Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur



Filed under: Art and Photography,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

1976 by Laura Moncur 11-23-05

I remember 1976.

That was one of the summers that we drove back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see my mom’s side of the family. We were Jehovah Witness by then, so we weren’t supposed to celebrate any of the Independence Day stuff. I remember going to Auntie Doris’ house and being allowed to play with sparklers. One of my cousins was so scared of them she cried huge hysterical tears. They told me she had been burned by a sparkler once, so I followed all the rules so I wouldn’t be scared like she was. I was embarrassed for her. Crying like that when all she had to do was just stay away from them. Sparklers were never as good as those ones in Wisconsin. I felt like I could write letters in the sky with their flame forever.

Milwaukee was decked out for The Bicentennial. I remember that every fire hydrant was painted to look like a drummer in a colonial band. Each little fixture was painted in bright red, white and blue. They were pretty. I remember asking my dad why they had painted all the fire hydrants like that and he told me it’s because they worshipped their country instead of Jehovah. That was enough of an answer for me.

We watched the fireworks on television. They were special Bicentennial fireworks and they lasted too long for my attention span. I couldn’t understand why the grownups were watching the fireworks on television. They weren’t that interesting. I hadn’t really seen any fireworks in real life, so they didn’t seem all that different than the fireworks on Love American Style. They were just colors on the TV screen.

The Bicentennial was a big deal to the grownups, but it didn’t really affect me all that much. There were some different quarters to collect. They had one of those colonial drummers on it just like the fire hydrants in Milwaukee. I wonder if there are any patriotic fire hydrants left. How I would love to take a picture of them now.

I was seven years old


1 Comment »

  1. 1976

    I actually remember a couple of things about that year, besides all the fire hydrants in town being painted.

    I remember being in Art class and our teaching telling us that classical music was not a bad thing, and that it was Ok to like different kinds of music. She then put on a record and played “A Fifth Of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy. I liked it. It had energy. I remember thinking “She’s right, lots of things I had heard about ‘classical music’ were not true.” I also have this vapor thought along the lines of “It’s Ok to make my own opinion”.

    In my second memory about 1976, also involving music oddly enough, I am laying in the backseat of my parent’s car. It’s a mustard yellow Mercedes, and to me, it’s cool because it’s a diesel. We are the only ones in town with a car that has a diesel engine. We were driving out to aunt and uncle’s home on the lake. The song “Afternoon Delight” came on the radio. I sat up and asked my parents to turn up the volumn, because I liked this song. I remember my Mom asking “Why do you like this song?” and I told her: “because they talked about flying model rockets” in the song. (I was into building and flying model rockets back then). I remember my step-dad Everett say something to my mother about “it’s ok as long as he doesn’t know what it’s really about.” This puzzled me. I wondered what he meant. Surely my interpretion was the right one. Wasn’t it?

    I was nine years old.

    Comment by Ward Durossette — 2/12/2006 @ 1:16 pm

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