Eastport has one of the biggest fourth of July celebrations in Maine. The town of under 2000 swells to, well, a lot more. (I'm no good at estimates--10,000?, 100,000?, 1,000,000?) Cars are parked on both sides of every road, in every parking lot, on every lawn. They block every driveway. Pedestrians fill the streets, music fills the air, and litter covers the ground. Many people wear patriotic red, white and blue. I myself have on a shirt with red, white, and blue stripes and a boarder of stars along the bottom. I have a flag flying from my front porch and I wave to the shriners in the parade, to "Little Miss Eastport. I wave to Olympia Snow and Susan Collins. I try to forget they are republicans in order to keep with the spirit. In fact, I try to forget what America is about these days and let my public school inspired patriotism come to the fore---no questions asked.
I love the parade. I love the carnival atmosphere, the doughboys, the hot dogs, the clowns. I love the babies in their flag-colored hats, carrying their little flags. I love the teen-agers in their skimpy clothes, jostling each other and laughing. I love the old men and women, sitting in their lawn chairs in front of the nursing home, the women with little dogs, the kids on scooters and skate boards, the men on motorcycles. I love the spectacle. I don't look beyond the surface. I want to be happy.