Since this is the twentieth year, I reckon it was 20 years ago on the Fourth of July that my wife’s sister Lindy suggested that the front porch of our house looks like a stage, and that we should have a patriotic pageant with historical tableaux and patriotic songs. Nineteen years ago, we did it for the first time.
I supposed that it would be a one-time affair, so we did it at one o’clock in the afternoon. I figured that intense heat would make for vivid memories, which it did. We decked the house in bunting, and put a fan on the flag to make it wave. Friends, family, neighbors and folks from church gathered on the lawn, both in costume and out. We moved the piano out onto the porch. With Sousa marches playing in the background, the crowd assembled and we started with the pledge of allegiance. My daughter was not yet three, and my son only eight months old. It has been a family tradition that we have greatly enjoyed, especially after moving it to 5:00 PM to get a little shade.
After the pledge, and "My Country ’tis of Thee", we expect a visit from George Washington. My nephew Joe portrayed the father of our country this year. His father did it the first time, crossing the Delaware. Our friend Ron Roberts had done the honors most years. "Beware of foreign entanglements."
Abraham Lincoln has never failed to deliver the Gettysburg address. Many figures from history and contemporary politics have appeared over the years, from Will Rogers to Jimmy Hoffa (at least a suitcase wrapped in chains and seaweed, dripping water was introduced as Jimmy… he could have been in there).
The Andrews Sisters have been a favorite with their tap-dance routines to patriotic songs. There are many of our favorites who are no longer with us. I’d love to see Allen Oakley as Benjamin Franklin again, and my mother as the Statue of Liberty. Memories are all we will take with us from this life, and these have been good ones.
For more pictures of the Mobley Family’s 20th gala celebration of our nation’s independence, just follow this link. God Bless America.