Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Special July 4th Celebration

Recently, our family has been spending July Fourth with my disabled son, who in a nursing home in Charleston, AR, about 30 minutes or so from the Oklahoma border. Charleston is one of those towns that are disappearing slowly from the American landscape--too bad! Most everyone knows each other and neighbors meet daily to talk.

Every July 4th, the City of Charleston (population 3500) and Greenhurst Nursing Home, where my son is cared for, collaborate on a 4th of July picnic. Everyone in surrounding towns come! The kids have a good time playing in the yard, fishing in the pond and relaxing on the porch til the party starts. The Nursing Home family council, to which my wife belongs, serves the hot dogs, popcorn, ice cold watermelon and drinks. The front lawn is filled with families on blankets and children playing frisbee and running around. A local rock band plays and, when darkness sets in a first class fireworks exhibit (accompanied by classical music emanating from the speakers) entertains the crowd.

My son is so disabled he can't do much, but he certainly can enjoy and wonder at the music and smile contentedly while he watches the fireworks display erupting around him. I daresay there aren't many American towns left that conduct a fourth of July celebration like this one--and that's too bad as it was one to remember. Jordan and the other folks in the nursing home, as well as the families and town people appreciate the effortand will look forward to next July!

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