We showed up late to the parade. The good floats had already passed. All that was left: churches, local businesses, and political candidates. Also a random dance team sprinkled in here and there. The veterans, police, and firefighters were gone. Yet the parade just kept going. All together it was two hours.
At nightâ€”shortly before the fireworksâ€”a gathering of less-than-sober people lit off some high-quality fireworks in the middle of the street not too far from my grandparentsâ€™ house (where we were staked out). They started loudly slurring the words to the national anthem. America!