Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Favorite 4th of July Memories

Posted July 4, 2006

Please join me today in sharing your favorite Independence Day memories. The Fourth of July reminds me of pimento cheese picnics on the Blue Ridge Parkway as a child. Several carloads of family and friends would make the trek up highway 181 to the parkway. We would find a nice shady spot and spread out lots of blankets and folding chairs. Soggy sandwiches didn't seem to matter. The laughter and stories shared were sustenance enough. I remember my father speaking proudly about our ancestors, the McDowells of Quaker Meadows. They helped beat the British at King Mountain in the Revolutionary War.

More recently my family has enjoyed wonderful 4th of July celebrations in the mountains near Roaring Gap. From our cottage perched on a ridge we can watch fireworks displays in four or five different communities. Years earlier we had a tradition of watching the Cary fireworks show at Penny Road Elementary School. But then the trees grew too tall.

We also enjoyed neighborhood parades with our friends the O'Connors in Cary. Kids dressed up in red, white and blue and paraded through the streets on their bicycles and wagons

I also have fond memories of cutting watermelon with Bob Inskeep and other WRAL FM staffers at the NC State Fairgrounds during my radio days. I can still see the smiling faces of Tack, Zoot, Steve Shumake, Donna Jones and Guppy the Clown.

I would also like to say Happy Birthday to Sparky! My cute dog was born 13 years ago today. Spark is not real crazy about fireworks. Neither am I when I have to get up the next morning at 2:35 for the TV news! Go easy on me tonight!

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Bill Leslie