My Favorite 4th of July memory

By
Real Estate Services with Marte Cliff Copywriting

About a dozen years ago I was operating a real estate agency in our small town of Priest River, Idaho and I was bothered by the fact that the 4th of July celebration I remembered from childhood had somehow fallen by the wayside.

So I went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting and suggested that it might be time to bring it back. They said "Sure, go ahead and do it."

OK then - was anyone going to help? Heck no!The American Flag

So I started out on my own to find out where to buy the fireworks, who could legally fire them off, etc. A fireman could do it, but none were willing. Finally I found a company who does nothing but fireworks displays and they did have one crew left who could do our event. It would cost at minimum $2,500.

I should have just worked at getting one more closing and paying for the thing myself. But no - I started trying to collect funds from the community. And I was terrible at it! I felt like I was asking for money for myself rather than for the community... and I'm not good at "gimmie." I don't even like to remind clients of a past due invoice for services rendered.

Lucky for me, I made the acquaintance of two young women who had the time, the desire, and the nerve to go get the money. They raised $3,500 and we were able to make the show just a little bit bigger.

Meanwhile, I was writing news articles and telling people to come to the event. And everyone I met said they hadn't read the articles, and didn't know it was going to happen. I was afraid the only ones there would be me and the two ladies!

Finally the big  night arrived and I was running around crazy, coordinating with the shooters, the musicians, the firemen, the ambulance people, and the man who would turn the lights off at the appropriate time. I saw people drifting into the park, but the crowd didn't seem very big.

Then, just before it was time for the show to start, I went out to the parking lot to get something from the car. I was headed back when the first shot went into the air, and so was a little boy of about 8.

I'll never forget that moment, because that little boy made all my work worthwhile.

He threw his arms in the air and shouted to the sky "Happy Birthday America!"

I still get misty when I think of him. And I still wish I knew who he was so I could tell him what that impulsive action on his part meant to me.

And as for the attendance...

When the show was over and the park lights came back on, I was amazed. The park was FULL. And then I looked across the river and saw car lights coming on ... the huge parking lot at the sawmill was full and both sides of the road were lined with cars.

My little town really did care about "Happy Birthday America!"

While I handed over the reins to the project a few years ago, it is still going on... and I fully intend to drive to town on Sunday night to watch the show.

 

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  1. Erica Ramus 07/04/2010 02:11 PM
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Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
Idaho Bonner County Priest River
Groups:
Cosmic Cow Pie...The Rome Way
Law of Attraction for the REALTOR!
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
Tags:
4th of july
independence
happy birthday america
small town celebrations

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Rainmaker
508,497
Maria Morton
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes

Marte, that is a beautiful story! Happy Birthday America! Enjoy the fireworks!

July 04, 2010 09:46 PM
Ambassador
883,219
Lane Bailey
Realtor & Car Guy
Century 21 Results Realty

I will never forget the 4th of July celebrations in Onaway, MI.  We had a cottage there and were there each year when I was a kid.  The parades and fireworks were always pure to me...  I miss that. 

July 04, 2010 11:26 PM
Rainmaker
747,001
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Thanks all! I just got home from watching the fireworks... with my kid, even. It was a pleasant surprise when he called this evening to say he'd meet me in town and go along.I thought he'd be out with friends, but he chose his old ma instead. Lucky me!

I feel sorry for the dogs and cats who are terrified by the noise, but I love hearing those big booms when they echo down the river almost as much as I love the lights in the sky.

The gods were smiling on the event - pouring rain here at home, but no rain for the fireworks.

July 05, 2010 02:42 AM
Rainmaker
1,143,238
Cheryl Ritchie
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com

My Mom crusaded to keep the local turtle races for the community event this year. She made homemade signs and door knocked. Imagaine her pleasure when six dozen neighbors showed up to watch the turtles race this weekend. That was a big part of the community right on her doorsteps!

July 05, 2010 03:24 AM
Rainmaker
747,001
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Good for your Mom!

When we want something to happen, sometimes we just have to do it ourselves. I'm glad she had a good turn-out. Maybe next year the crusade will be easier.

You sure have an armful of gold there!

July 05, 2010 03:58 AM
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Marte Cliff

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Author Bio: Marte Cliff is a freelance copywriter who specializes in writing for the real estate profession.

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