Tuesday, July 4

Happy 4th of July Jim,

They’re starting to set off fireworks. I’m curious to see how loud it gets. There weren’t as many booths selling firecrackers this year and I didn’t see a lot of customers at them.

Do you remember the 4th of July that you came to Sacto and we were at the bike trail on the river near Cal Expo? There was a crescent moon over Venus. You mentioned The Star of the Sea. Then you said that nobody notices something as beautiful as that, but they can’t wait for all the silly fireworks. We agreed how superficial Americans are.

I was thinking about the poster you had in your apartment to celebrate the bi-centennial. There were four guys on it. I know Thomas Paine was one of them. Washington too. I can’t remember the others.

The country is as superficial as when you died, but there is a lot less freedom. There are cameras everywhere. Everybody is afraid. The more cameras there are the more afraid people are.

This evening I walked around a couple of blocks of government buildings. There were nice flowers and bushes, and picnic tables for the staff to eat in the shade. A lot of the places were tucked away.

But I didn’t want to linger and smell the flowers, or make plans to bring a book for three hours on a Sunday to enjoy the solitude. I was afraid.

I didn’t want to be asked to leave. It feels weird knowing somebody is watching me. I said happy 4th of July to a couple of people, but I only said it to bring myself up and to make them feel good.

I wish America was great and there was something to celebrate. We Americans are terrified of each other. Land of the free and home of the brave my ass.

Several years ago I heard a decorated veteran give a patriotic speech. It was great. One of the things he said was that people do not take God seriously anymore.

I could not stay for the end so I asked somebody at the pamphlet table for his name and address. I wrote to him.

I agreed we are Godless. Then I commented on what he said about war and patriotism. I said there are security guards and cameras all over town. I said all a woman has to do is pick up the phone and say a man raped me. She is taken at her word and the man is destroyed. I said I worry about being arrested all the time and I feel more unfree every day.

He didn’t write back.

One time one of our nephews told me that he called ‘grandpa’ on Memorial Day to thank him for fighting in World War II. Dad appreciated it. I would like to thank dad and all the soldiers for keeping America free, but we live in a police state.

I wonder how many vets cry when they realize we’re being spied on all the time and you can’t even have a beer and a cigarette in the park.

The firecrackers have been steady, but it has not been dramatic.

Well Jim. Thanks for listening.

Love,

Dave