4th Festivities

While reading through the Prayer Request Pages at the Conservative Treehouse I ran across this request from another poster & decided to “humor an old man”…This is a flavor of what we got to do on our recent out of town excursion.
Here is the link for the original posts:
Trumpismine says:

I love stories about what you all did on our country’s bday,if you can share….please humor and old man?

  • Hey, T. I. M. I’m replying to your story request from the 4th festivities. Our celebration was somewhat spread out due to family changes. In the past both my brothers & their families would make an effort to head to Northern Michigan to join us at my parents’ Cottage, one dwelling back from the lake. My one brother lives out of state & hasn’t made the trip in several years now.

    My youngest brother’s oldest child just got engaged the day after her college graduation. They are planning a mid August wedding so the family is scrambling to get everything done. They threw a large bridal shower the Saturday before the 4th so that delayed my parents’ arrival at the Cottage & prevented my brother’s family from travelling North at all.

    My immediate family had already scheduled time off for before the 4th so the Curren ladies didn’t make the bridal shower (but will host a small family one later). We had staggered arrival Up North in 3 cars for 7 people & all got there after Midnight, technically on Saturday. Later that day the local fireworks display was carried out over Otsego Lake & we had a great view of the show. This year I actually decided to swim during the fireworks, which is a first, while family & neighbors watched from the beach & others took their boats across the lake (about a mile) to get a closer viewing. One neighbor put on the local radio station’s version of “Booms Over Otsego” (I think it said) & there were numerous patriotic songs, including all the songs for the various service branches (I recognized them from Mark Levin’s shows renditions). That music combined with the sounds of the explosions really helped to swell the patriotic fervor in my heart, though I always mentally substitute “blessed” or “thankful” for “proud” in that “Proud to be an American” song…

    We had an amazing steak dinner a couple days later after my parents arrived & before my husband & two working kids had to head back to work on the 4th. We also took a day trip to beautiful Lake Michigan to enjoy an untamed beach along Sturgeon Bay, just South of Wilderness State Park–this trip may have been the highlight for our Up North adventures for the 7 Currens. Another day there was an excursion to the woods, deep into a section off a gas well (my husband used to supply those rigs when we lived there a decade & a half ago, so he still knows how to find some nicely secluded areas) where 5 Currens & my mom got to enjoy some target shooting using the handguns owned by 4 of us–this was the first time both my mom & I had ever shot a handgun & my middle son video-recorded much of this event…

    After everyone but my special needs son & I had headed back home he & I took in the American flag, something I’d never done at The Cottage…As we were lowering it off the 20 foot flag pole one of our neighbors stopped to salute this precious symbol of our freedom. It turns out that he is a vet & had served in the Army in Vietnam. Both Josiah & I were able to thank him for his service.

    The day before we left to head home Josiah & I headed into town to run some errands. We also visited the cemetery where several family members were buried, including my dad’s first cousin who had died earlier this year & whose oldest son had flown in from California to check on his gravestone a couple of days earlier. This small local burial ground is filled with patriots & heroes & it is especially moving & sobering to see all the American flags placed at the graves of the service members, especially near patriotic holidays. Josiah was moved to tears as he contemplated the level of sacrifice represented in this cemetery, whose burials include some Civil War era warriors through present day heroes.

    Two of my great uncles, my grandma’s brothers, both WWII vets were buried there. Uncle Hugh was a medic overseas during the war. He was a medical doctor who was always very generous with his time & talents. He had his wife & kids live at their Up North Cottage throughout WWII when he was away. He didn’t want them in Detroit, a place he considered likely to be targeted by the enemy because of its tremendous industrial war effort. My Uncle Thurman was a machinist who helped to build “The Bomb”–though he didn’t know what exactly the top-secret project was that he was working on at that time. My dad likes to tell some stories of Thurman’s encounters with military brass who thought he was AWOL when he was on this super secret assignment & how they were put in their place with just one phone call.

    My dad told Uncle Hugh’s grandson, Hugh III, who was there to check on his dad “Tom’s” (technically Hugh II) gravestone, about his friend Del who was a Dentist who served in the military during the Korean War, I believe. Hugh’s young son, “Moose” (technically Hugh IV) is considering becoming a dentist. Del had told my dad that one year as a dentist in the military was worth at least Five in the private sector! After his retirement Del continues to use his dental skills to care for prisoners in the UP & immigrants (seasonal workers) on Mackinac Island–a true patriot, humanitarian, & real world Christian. Dad also shared stories about his cousin Bud, Hugh’s & Thurman’s nephew, son of my grandma’s brother, who was also in the service, though not during war time. He was a mechanic or machinist working on aircraft & retains some amazing skills even in his early 80’s–he’s become somewhat of a legend in our family after our adult kids got to meet him a couple years back where he wowed us with his stories, his repairs to my brother’s boat, & his extremely skilled boat skippering–he brought the vehicle in “hot” & perfectly fit it between dock, boat, & shore, basically steering & stopping it on a dime!

    To sum up, our Fourth of July excursion included Family, Faith, Food, Fellowship,
    Feistiness, Fireworks, Freedom, Festive Music, Friendly Neighbors, Firearms, “Faith of our Fathers” (the movie & the memories), & Fun!


I’d wanted to include some relevant pictures in the above post but couldn’t find the one’s I’d hoped to find…So here are a couple pics that relate obliquely to the above “story”…

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

Uncle Hugh’s Yearbook Photo, from Ancestry.com


Well I’m not having an easy time finding relevant pictures so…

See the source image

Otsego Lake, MI fireworks per a Bing.com search

See the source image

My great-grandparents cottage was the white one, now owned by their granddaughter

See the source image

One of “our” views looking West over Otsego Lake

See the source image

Sunset over Otsego Lake

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another Otsego Lake sunset, though this one might be somewhat color-enhanced


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