Fireworks on the Fourth - Another "J" Weighs in

Here is more memoir on the Fourth of July at Pine Beach from another "J", (J' #1) written in response to my previous blog.

"The crowning jewel of the Fourth of July weekend has always been the fireworks, but there was so much more.  Grandma, Grandpa & aunts all crowded in. Sleeping on top of each other. Sandy sheets. It was a treat sharing a bed with J'#3  who slept on the diagonal.  The weekend usually included one movie night with the aunts at the Community Theatre in downtown Toms River.  It also included Grandpa's shish-ka-bob and Grandma's iced tea and trying to teach Aunt Rose and Vi to swim.  Of course, there always was the parade of decorated bikes, floats and 1,000 fire trucks.  Some things never change.  I didn't participate in any of the parades.  I don't know if I was too old or too shy, but remember that Joan did and I think J'#2 did as well.  I have enjoyed watching my own grandchildren in more recent years."

(Editor's note:  J#2 distinctly remembers that J#1 decorated her bike for the parade, but has no proof and no confidence in her own memory.  So that shall remain a family history mystery.  However, there is photographic evidence, given here to show that J'#2 and J'#3 were in the parade.  And, we are proud to report that we have evidence that the grandchild generation has kept the tradition alive.  Here are the pic's:)

Now back to J'#1's Reminiscenses:

"Then there was the early morning flag raising ceremony next door when the Klauders moved to Pine Beach in the late 1950's.  Mommy pressured us to attend and we complied.  About 3 years ago, Joan mentioned this to Bill &Terry, our current next door neighbors, who  embraced the tradition 50 years later.  It is now a pleasure to get up and start the 4th with the pledge of allegiance and donuts - and maybe mimosas (but I'm not absolutely sure abut the mimosas). 

Back to fireworks - the anticipation always started with the procession of boats coming into the river right before dusk.  I don't remember the flare with the flag at the finale and the ensuing melee.  That seems like it should be a chapter in the three 'J's  Book of Hazards.  My early memories of the fireworks are from the beach in Beachwood or Jersey Beach where we had a great view of Beachwood's fireworks.  And, yes, there was time in between.  We enjoyed each rocket in its entirety from the flare to the embers hitting the water.  The fish fireworks were always the best, as Mommy said.  Beachwood's pyrotechnics have come a long way with a continuous dazzling display leaving little time for oohs & ahs.  The best Pine Beach view is now from the Bluff that previously housed Admiral Farragut Academy. 

Best memory, sitting quietly on the porch watching the boats peacefully leave the river.