“Double Town’s People*” Tanka 2062

(July 1, 2018)

Double town’s people

July Fourth – for big fireworks

along Lake Monroe.


Sixty-thousand line the shore,

daylong Independence fete!

  • (Central Florida’s perhaps most patriotic town – the whole region, actually, is awash in retired and veteran military who join the revelry in a good Independence Day bash.  For decades only occasional glitches to the daylong Lake Monroe riverfront park gathering of good food, music and minor miracle mayhem of kids and adults running free along a half-mile stretch of Saint Johns Riverfront park fronting 11-mile long Lake Monroe – 4 miles wide!  and shallow enough only a few bits require swimming at the river channel in midstream but now in near Summer flood stage and with lots of gators cruising without previous decades of poaching no longer recommended – the day-ending thunderstorms with ‘lectric lightshow gives way most often to a gentle cooling breeze-fed twilight-turns-night near 9 p.m. fireworks show that draws the present day city’s near 60,000 population a doubling of out-of-town visitors who decline the interstate horrors and general bustle of Altamonte Springs and – gasp! – Lake Eola in downtown Orlando their separate and often gigantic gala Fourth of July daylong celebrations culminating in celebratory fireworks.  The reason: who knows.  July 4, 1776 was picked and sticks.  The independence took 11 more years to gain.  The proclamation – and the letter to George Hanover III of England – seems particularly gaudy and hopeful – recall a bunch of homespuns and a few bluebloods banded together to face The World’s mightest military machine: And won.  By many knowledgeable estimates barely 30 percent of American colonists were in favor of rebellion. Fewer engaged in active military efforts. Many tales – true and truer in some sense – spawn from those days: including the quaint and final notion called “Lynch Law” and Lynching, stem from those times and permeated The Wild West a half-century later.  Now, to be sure, had not France and much of the rest of Europe been engaged in a world-wide war with Great Britain at the same time such comeuppance – over, what else? Commerce! – well might have ended in massed necktie parties for The Continental Congress and its armed not-Might’s leadership.  England needed its northern American colonies’ Naval Stores of tall, straight pines for ships masts and its southern colonies for turpentine, textiles and all that trade to keep its exchequer filled and a buffer from France trying to retake Canada and in the Caribbean its claims on The Wealth of the eastern spice islands.  That’s why when just over a century from independence American troops trudging off their transport ships on French soil way late but just in time in 1917, they called out: “Lafayette, We Are Here!” and thus began an American Tradition of saving European – and England’s too – Bacon in two world wars.  Happy Birthday, America. You earned it!)

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