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Chuck Brooks column: Fourth of July holiday is filled with traditions

Are you kidding me? July 4? The last time we met, I was saying goodbye to the school year and hello to summer, but now it’s July 4 already? What the heck?

We best be moving along with all the important stuff you’ve missed! For example, for three weeks now, I haven’t heard the sound of an alarm clock. Not once! Amazing! I’ve seen a couple of movies in the theaters. X-Men and Edge of Tomorrow. Both get my stamp of approval.

I always look for pure escape in the summer movies. Both were successful. I finished the book I was reading, The Troop. Scary stuff. Like Stephen King scary stuff.

Andre and I continued to work on our second book. I visited my sister and brothers for a week in southern Wisconsin. Bought four new tires and got an oil change while I was there. The tires were unexpected.

The-re! All the important details out of the way! On to lesser matters now. I wish I could use emoticons in this column so I could be certain you knew when I was being tongue-in-cheek and when I was being a bit more serious (insert crazy laughing face).

It’s the weekend of the Fourth. That means parades, fairs, fireworks illuminating the weekend skies as well as neighborhoods all over the metro. Many feel summer is half over when this holiday occurs. I refuse to buy into that theory. Emotionally, I just can’t accept that. Yes, we begin to see “Back-To-School” ads already, but we start seeing Christmas displays in stores before Halloween, so give me another argument to sell your perverse perspective (insert wry smile)!

As for me, I have my annual job of announcing the parade in Apple Valley once again. I know I’m coming up soon on 30 years of doing that. Staggering fact. I am writing this at least a week before the Fourth, so I am curious to see what Mother Nature has in store for us this year. Two years ago, I had to finally ask for a canopy on the flatbed where the judges and I sit. It was going to be over 100 and sunny that year. Last year, it was still warm, but not 100 degrees.

Two constants about that parade — it’s never rained in all the years I’ve announced it, and it’s always windy. The wind plays havoc with my script for 100-plus parade entries. It’s always a great time, so I am certain this year will be too (insert happy guy with sunglasses).

When I was a kid, the Fourth meant sparklers in the front yard and fireworks at the race track outside of town. After high school, I was introduced to an annual celebration about 10 miles from my hometown where the community held a drum and bugle corps competition. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Didn’t know what the heck drum and bugle corps was. After my first year, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of it. I began my career here and was informed the Cities held a competition at old Parade Stadium by the old Guthrie (everything is “old” these days!). One of my student’s parents told me about it, and we attended them yearly until the stadium was torn down. The event moved to the newly built Blaine sports complex. Then I lost touch with the parent and the event. Then, a few years ago, I learned they were doing the competition at TCF stadium. This year, sadly, with it being the weekend prior to the All-Star game here at Target Field, the event will be held in LaCrosse, Wisc. Doubt I’ll go over to see it (insert unhappy face).

This coming week I’ll be meeting with my new student council officers to talk about leadership and what our agenda needs to be at the all-council picnic the week before workshop in late August (insert screaming face). That little dose of reality will have me in the therapist’s office for hours afterward (insert screaming face again).

Here’s a little summer anecdote that’s just too good to keep to myself. Recently, I was sitting in Starbucks writing the initial portion of this column, and there was a young couple (late 20s, early 30s) sitting in the comfy chairs. They were chatting. Then the tune “Crazy” by Patsy Cline began to play over the speakers. This young couple got up and began dancing. Yes. In Starbucks. The song finished and they sat down. Two songs later, “Georgia” sung by Ray Charles, could be heard. And they danced again (insert bewildered expression).

Ya can’t make this stuff up, folks. See you next week (insert waving hand).