Thursday, July 5, 2012

North for the Fourth

Being as I live in a tourist town and we live on the edge of the arctic circle so that we see one week of summer a year, our chamber of commerce has always done up a big Fourth of July celebration. My hometown is Tomahawk, so this celebration has always been called the Pow Wow Days. I am surprised that the city is still able to get away with that. Shh, please don’t tattle on us.

 It seemed however like this was a much bigger thing when I was a kid. They even set up carnival rides on the west end of Main Street. One time I rode on the tilt-a-whirl so many times right in a row that I actually threw up when I finally got off of the spinning thing. Yea, there’s a memory I should have kept to myself.

There was also the year that a tornado struck north of town. I think it was around 1978. From the east end of Main Street, my friends and I watched green swirling clouds descend upon the city. About the time we decided we should seek cover, torrential rain started coming down. We raced for Hanke’s Super Market and asked to use the phone to let our parents know we were safe, because that’s the kind of responsible kids we were. The clerk, being equally responsible, said it wasn’t safe to use the phone in the storm, so we ran back out of the store and slogged our way to Brenda’s sister’s house two more blocks away. Yea, that was another smart move.

This year? Nothing so exciting. Here are a few views of our downtown, three hours before the big parade. Several people told me that most of these chairs were actually set up by six am (the parade is at one pm). And myself? Well before the parade started, I was home again, eating a brat and cheese curds that I had bought downtown. Like, I said, nothing exciting.  

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