Remembering Firework Shows of Yore

image of real fireworks show
Not the Hill’s Department Store fireworks show

I was watching Columbus’ Red White and Boom from my house the other night and it got me thinking of the fireworks my family would go to when I was a kid back in Findlay. It was sponsored by the late great Hill’s Department Store. Compared to the professional show at Red White and Boom!, the firework shows of my youth were less impressive.

We would pile into the car and drive out to Hill’s on Tiffin Ave and park in the lot facing east. Where they would shoot the fireworks off is where the Kroger store is now. We had pillows, popcorn, and a cooler with pop and the wait for the show was sooooooo long in my short attention span childhood years.

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Why I Hated Martin Luther King Jr.

image of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
My childhood nemisis
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are some people who have birthdays at inconvenient times. Some were born on or near Christmas or during some national tragedy like those born on September 11th. There are others who were born on leap day so they can only celebrate the actual day of their birth in years that are evenly divisible by 4. Back when I was in elementary school, my birthday conflicted with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Why did he have to be born the day after me? Martin Luther King Jr. ruined my childhood.

In my elementary school when someone had a birthday, they would bring in a treat for their classmates. The birthday boy or girl would get some kind of hat. The usual in my school was the paper crown you could get for free at any Burger King restaurant. We would also get to be first in line for recess, lunch, and for bathroom breaks. Then at a certain time, usually just after lunch the class would sing “Happy Birthday” and nosh on the treats. It was a special day and one I wanted to have very badly.

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Honoring the correct history of the 4th of July


This is just in case Dave Barton, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and other thick heads need a refresher on American History. I recommend the entire School House Rock series. Those short videos helped me through school at times. Lucky for us these were made before the fans of anti-intellectualism got a chance to rewrite history. Happy 4th of July!

School House Rock – Shot Heard ‘Round the World (America Rock)

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The Real Story of Thanksgiving and Socialism

A friend of mine posted a story of the “A Lost Thanksgiving Lesson” told by FOX “news” talking head John Stossel. He claims that because the colony tried to operate as a commune there was a famine and so to save the colony the Pilgrims ditched socialism. Like most Libertarian fantasies, Stossel’s story is 99.9999999% made up.

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. But the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn’t happen.

Long before the failure of modern socialism, the earliest European settlers gave us a dramatic demonstration of the fatal flaws of collectivism. Unfortunately, few Americans today know it.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally.

That’s why they nearly all starved.

When people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. Plymouth settlers faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. Total production was too meager to support the population, and famine resulted. This went on for two years.

A Lost Thanksgiving Lesson

The real history tells a different tale:

Historians say that the settlers in Plymouth, and their supporters in England, did indeed agree to hold their property in common — William Bradford, the governor, referred to it in his writings as the “common course.” But the plan was in the interest of realizing a profit sooner, and was only intended for the short term; historians say the Pilgrims were more like shareholders in an early corporation than subjects of socialism.

“It was directed ultimately to private profit,” said Richard Pickering, a historian of early America and the deputy director of Plimoth Plantation, a museum devoted to keeping the Pilgrims’ story alive.

The arrangement did not produce famine. If it had, Bradford would not have declared the three days of sport and feasting in 1621 that became known as the first Thanksgiving. “The celebration would never have happened if the harvest was going to be less than enough to get them by,” Mr. Pickering said. “They would have saved it and rationed it to get by.”

The Pilgrims Were … Socialists?

The first Thanksgiving or harvest feast was held in 1621 not 1623. The Native Americans were invited because they helped support the colony with food and teaching them how to grow their crops in New England during their first year when half the colonists died.

So socialism did save the colony and the Libertarians/Tea Party/Conservatives are full of stuffing – and not the good kind.