By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor
“You’re a pig murderer!” The words were directed — with more heat than the roasting pig was twirling upon — towards my uncle during his annual Fourth of July party. Happy Fourth, folks. The miniature PETA control just crashed the party, fireworks most definitely to ensue. The glares of enraged daggers were targeted at my uncle through the tears that streamed down my 6-year-old cheeks; upon witnessing the sow sizzling on a roaster. I raked him over the coals about killing a pig and then stuffing an apple in its mouth for everyone to see.
“I will never talk to you again for doing this to that poor little pig,” I yelled as he likely wished the apple resting comfortably in the pig’s mouth was shoved into mine. Looking back, I can’t say I would’ve blamed him.
Although one of my first Fourth of July memories was a bit sour, the rest of the memories sweeten; especially when I grew up to realize eating meat was, indeed, not a crime. Fourth of July is made to be filled with cookouts — even if pork is being served. But, the cookouts were the cherry-on-top event to my Fourth of July mornings as a kid. Every Fourth of July morning, my Pap and I would don our red, white and blue t-shirts I crafted from Puffy Paint [file that fun fact under: “I grew up in the 1990s”]. We would head down to the barn with Elmer’s glue, glitter and an idea for the best-decorated pony at the Chesterfield, Ind. Fourth of July parade. We’d spend the morning using star sponges, that I cut out the night before, to dab on glue and then top with glitter colors matching the patriotic palette. I guess the miniature PETA control felt that this was OK, since I washed it off just a few hours later. My Pap and I spent every Fourth of July tossing out candy to kids and waving as Snowy, who resembled a Fourth of July version of My Little Pony, and I rode through another memory of a firework-filled Fourth of July.
I hope whatever your Fourth of July becomes in your memory bank, it’s one that’s cherished.
[friday] editor/ Fourth of July fan