Nine years ago, the weekend of the Fourth of July, we moved to Independence. Since then, next to Christmas, the Fourth of July has become one of my favorite holidays. Except for when I was a child, I've lived here longer than anywhere else. I consider Independence to be my hometown.
Our city's history is rich. Many say our town is the true end of the Oregon trail. There is a lot of merit to that claim and with its name of Independence (the people who settled here came from Independence, Missouri), our small town Fourth of July celebrations are the best. There's a big country parade which goes right past our house, along with a weekend of live entertainment, booths and such down by our waterfront. Because Vancouver opted out of having the big fireworks display this year, our little town's firework show will be the biggest and best in the Willamette Valley.
As I write to you, people are pulling up to the curb, and into the alley to spread blankets and unfold their chairs onto the grasses along our streets in anticipation of the parade. With the rare appearance of sun and heat, this will be the best Fourth of July ever!
Happy Fourth of July!