I don't have family pictures to go with this one (no sibling bribes involved - just no pictures) so you will just have to imagine.
Our house (as in my childhood home) was the site of the big neighborhood Forth of July picnic every year. "Neighbors" is a loose term -as this included some families that lived a bit further away, but in the tiny little speck of a one traffic light town that I grew up in, 'further away' was really not that far.
This was a loose affair - grills going, dishes passing, kids running in the yard, bocce and volleyball, fireworks (illegal in our state, but we had them anyway), and then a few parents volunteering to take their kids and others to the fireworks over the hills in one of the neighboring towns. We'd all pile in the back of someones station wagon and off we would go -sometimes getting a late start and watching them from the top of a hill somewhere. Other times being able to get down to the field and spread out a blanket and get snacks from the "carnies" before laying back to ooh and ahhh (my favorites are the bangers...or as I learned at a fireworks company a few years ago - the "retorts")
Some things were eagerly anticipated every year. The cherry bombs being exploded in the culvert behind the house, Mrs. B's dilly beans and then how she would beat the pants off anyone in bocce, my dad at the grill, ice cold lemonade - and "fugicles"
Mmmm - "fugicles" were magical chocolaty goodness and on the Fourth of July they were extra special. Maybe it was because they were brought by the "Fugicle Man" as I called him. (notice I could not say FudgeSicle - so I must have been pretty little at the time)
Fugicle Man was a professor at Alfred University, where my dad taught. I remember him being VERRRY tall, and not at all abashed about the fact that he was a bachelor who did not cook - so he brought Fugicles. I don't know how many years he actually came, or if he brought the Fugicles every year or just one - but in my family he will always be known as the Fugicle Man. And he knows it still.
The "neighborhood" Fourth of July picnic is now at my house. Dilly beans have given way to deviled eggs, and our "fugicle" is the United States of Jello. We've chosen backyard drive-ins over the trip to the fireworks, and our bocce set is all ready to go. This year we are doing pulled pork, and Hubby is opting to concoct multiple sauces for people to try rather than standing at the grill all afternoon.
Happy Fourth of July Memories - old and new.
Now I think I am going to go break me open a box of Fugicles and watch my Munchkin learn to play bocce.