Friday, July 2, 2010

A 4th of July Memory

I was ten years old. I spent every single summer morning outside with my neighbors. We would make up dances to all sorts of songs (mainly this one disco CD we played all the time and Madonna’s "Immaculate Collection") and put on mini-recitals for our families... or we’d swim in the pool and pretend we were mermaids.

This particular year we decided we’d do something with ourselves. We’d take our little back yard dance company to the top! We entered some 4th of July talent competition in another city (Revere, maybe) and it took place in a park. We picked out the song – America by Neil Diamond – and we named ourselves The Rockettes (we’re very original). We choreographed the entire thing on our own, we coordinated our outfits and we were ready to go.

We showed up, and I remember looking around thinking, “We’ve got this. All these people suck.” And for the most part, they did. I mean, it was a talent show for children, what do you expect? People spinning batons or playing clarinets or tap dancing horribly. But not us! I had been dancing for eight years at that point - so had my neighbors - and I’ve got a natural gift of rhythm! The dance went off without a hitch – and we came in second place. I think.

Some of the memories are a little hazy, but for some reason I can remember the tennis shoes we were wearing, the white overalls I had on and that first-time feeling of superiority and excitement over a competition.

And y’know what, that’s what America’s all about.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

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