Friday, July 2, 2010

memories lit the corners of Jim's mind: 4th of July fireworks in early 20th Century America

Those of you who have been here before will notice that I've changed my blog template and header image for the second time in 2010. Hopefully, you will like it. I took this header photo of petroglyphs near Steens Mountain in Harney County, Oregon, and have had it in mind for my blog for quite awhile. With Blogger's new template designs to play with a change is now easier and the results are much more rewarding than in the past. With this switch I don't expect I'll change the look of Writerquake for some time to come. I'm quite at peace with it.

During the past week I've posted two photos taken by my uncle, James H. Swearingen, and mentioned that I would have a Fourth of July post via a clip from his tapes of lifetime memories of his mother and father that he made when he was an old man in 1982. His memory had not dimmed with age, nor had his oration skills weakened, and what he left for his family after his death three years later is a demonstrable act of family love and legacy. This Fourth of July post is the second clip of Uncle Jim's I've featured and if you are interested in hearing the first one click here. There you can also read how my husband and I remastered Jim's tapes onto four discs and reproduced for family members.

With thanks to my husband for figuring out how to force our software to work within the confines of this aging (and increasingly temperamental) computer, I wish him a Happy Fourth over a well-deserved three-day weekend. Happy Fourth of July to all of you in the U.S. Have a safe and happy holiday. I hope my readers in other countries will find this recorded memory interesting and festive as well.

This memory runs 4:05

My uncle's memories of his boyhood Fourth of July fireworks. James H. Swearingen, Jr. was born in Kansas City, MO in 1901, and the family moved to a property outside the city (mentioned at the end of the tape) in 1909 -- which places these memories in the first decade of the 20th Century.



Phivos Nicolaides said...

Valuable items and memory!

Erin Davis said...

Those memories are treasures indeed. Love the new header photo!

Amy said...

Lydia, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this post. I have my brother and his wife here this weekend but I'm glad I took a little break to visit you! You created a wonderful treasure with that tape - the imagery is perfect - especially the last one of your uncle's father with the cigar! His descriptions reminded me of some great 4th of July memories from my youth - if I have time I'll try to post by tomorrow!

I also clicked on your Steens Mtn link - another great post. Some of the photos reminded me of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada where we've explored numerous times as well as the Sheldon Wilderness in Northwest Nevada. Great one!

Lydia said...

Phivos~ Thank you, Phivos...they are meaningful for me.

Erin~ Treasures, yes. Thank you for commenting (positively) about the header change. Happy 4th to you and your family.

Amy~ I feel truly honored that you would take a break in your busy weekend to visit me, Amy. Thank you so much. I hope you have a wonderful time with your brother and his wife (of course you will). I am going to click over to see if you had time Saturday to post, and if not I'll check back later on the good old 4th of July.

The Black Rock Desert! Dino's Country Club? I've been there in the past...even camped out on the desert floor with a former boyfriend and woke in the morning with a small herd of wild horses running by. What a memory! I envy you having had the opportunity to explore the area. And the Sheldon that one and the same as the Sheldon Antelope Refuge? If so, I've been there too! Soaked all alone at Bog Hot Springs. Another wonderful memory.

Looking to the Stars said...

Love the new look on your blog :)

What a treasure you have in your Uncle's tapes, so wonderful!!!!

I am so glad that he did this, so you could share with us, thank you :)

Rhiannon said...

I have good memories of many 4th of July's through the years..but haven't felt that way since the wars started back in the GW Bush where we are now.

Anyway I hope your day and evening of the 4th was a nice one Lydia for you and your hubby. We went on a picnic in the afternoon, at a small park behind my sister's apartment and there was actually no one there but us...under big tree's and lot's of was very nice..then we went home by early evening.

Blessings to you and yours and "peace for this world" of ours.



Lydia said...

Looking to the Stars~ Aw, thank you for appreciating the new look here. And how sweet of you to feel gladness that he made the tapes. :)

Rhi~ Your picnic actually sounds quite perfect. I'm happy you and your sis could spend a part of the holiday together.
I do understand what you mean about the GW Bush days having changed the way you feel about the 4th. What an insidious way he had in changing the emotional landscape of this country. I find myself re-learning how to feel festive about it since those days too. (As I wrote that comment at 12:07AM some yayhoo in our neighborhood set off a big boomer that totally unnerved the household here. What a jerk!)



Related Posts with Thumbnails