Morning of the 4th of July in Manzanita, Oregon

Upon reaching adulthood I had never really cared for parades. They bored me. But this morning after arriving in Manzanita the previous night I walked through town on this hallowed of days of independence – the 4th of July in America, in my beloved Manzanita, Oregon.

Of all the towns on the golden coast of Oregon there is none which has so attached itself in my heart as this charming little village with its’ “little apple.”

Everyone I mention the word “Manzanita” to who has been there responds with “oh that place is so nice!” But it isn’t the niceties which draws my heart here and it isn’t the “Good morning! How are you today?” that each and every person I walk by on the neighborhood streets greets me with in the morning – it’s just a feeling.

You know that feeling, if you have had it, when you return to a town you were perhaps raised in as a child but moved away from later in life. You return and the everything in that town has such an aire of familiarty. You once lived in this place and the buildings and nature of it all embedded itself into your memory banks somewhere, releasing a sense of nostalgia you will likely always have anytime you go there.

That is a feeling I get when I come to Manzanita. It’s an odd feeling of “home” and of a love you know you can’t leave, but you also can’t let you suck you into staying – for too long or you’d be stuck in bliss.

But that is all to add the context for this grand morning I was so privileged to be able to spend in Manzanita.

The parade started as most parades do with swirling lights and sirens. The streets of this population 598 village were jam packed with thousands upon thousands of onlookers. I walked along the sidwalks with my wide-loaded backpack, dodging the standers of the sidewalk and fellow attendees attempting to walk to wherever it was they were going; a better view, a store, a restaurant.

I finally found a wooden fence unoccupied where I would stand to view the parade. Standing there with as police car, firetruck, horses, representatives of various community organizations whizzed by at 5 mph in their suped up cars and boats, I had this feeling that I was somewhere back in the 1950’s. I had this feeling that this parade was the way things had always been, from now before to `950 and 1950 to when the Romans would have their “Triumph.” Their triumph was in celebration of some great military victory, and perhaps our 4th of July in America is no different. We are still celebrating our independence from Britain and the creation of our new country as ex-Brits. We are still celebrating the winning of that revolutionary war and this is a celebration I propose shall continue until we are no more.


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