Monday, July 4, 2011

Becoming Betsy Ross

Happy 4th of July! I'm sure you have a day full of bbq's, picnics, beach, parades, and then topped off with fireworks. We have a full day planned but nothing will compare July 4, 1976 (yes, that makes me in my very, very, very late 30's).

Feelin' Bicentennial-y!

Midwesterners love July 4th. They love flags on their shirts (look down at your shirt, do you have a flag?), they love flags in their yards and they love desserts that resemble flags. So it was no surprise that the with the 1976 Bicentennial approaching,  that small towns all over the Midwest would pull out all the stops. My town was no different. This was a 3 day event with games, pig roasts, bands, parties, and most of all a parade.............with a prize for the best costume.

So life like!

I had to win that prize, but how? I would be competing against at least 3 other girls in my age group so competition was going to be fierce. There was really only one costume that would put me over the top, our beloved Betsy Ross. So Betsy Ross I would be. But not just any Betsy Ross the best Betsy Ross ever. I learned at a young age that showmanship isn't the only is everything! Thus the planning began. Costume was in production complete with little hat and Iowa was being scoured for props (flag, big needle, little glasses to sit at the end of my nose). Things were coming together. But how can I be expected to walk in a parade while pretending to sew a flag? Think, Ginger, think! Then it came to me, Mr. Buffet, the only neighbor in town who has a riding lawn mower (he is also the one who give out apples for Halloween) can pull me through the parade. So construction went into high gear. It was looking like I had this in the bag, but never one to rest, I needed a ringer. That ringer was my cousin Scott. Now Scott  was focused on winning the best bicycle, he ate, slept and breathed his bicycle design.  As he story boarded his bicycle, costume and parade route, he too realized that if we joined forces we would be unstoppable. His fingers may have been weak from the tedious task of draping his wheels in crepe paper but his mind was sharp and desire to win was strong. We were the perfect team of Betsy Ross and Uncle Sam.

Scott beat my sister out for top prize, to this day they don't speak.

So throughout the parade, as I was pulled on my make-shift float at about .05mph, Scott, in his Uncle Sam costume and red, white and blue decorated bike, rode circles around my float. Although, my glasses gave me a head ache and his cotton ball beard was itchy, we didn't let anything damper our spirits on our 8 block ride. I pretend sewed like there was no tomorrow! Scott waved at the crowd and only stopped once when his paper hat blew off and once when he got dizzy from all the circle and fell off his bike.
The crowd went crazy! Our reward that day, 1st Prize-Girls Costume, 1st Prize-Best Bicycle.

And that my friends, is how you celebrate the 4th. 

Me, front row far left. Scott, front row #83.

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