Independence Day Reflections

A suggestion for this post came a few days ago from one of our Treepers. I think it is a wonderful idea, especially for today, and during these times.

I will just copy here a portion of her letter to me.

My friend, Jack is the father of four sons… and at the end of an email about his sadness over the dismantling of the statues of Washington and Lincoln, he mentioned that he and his boys had just been listening to “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” and then he commented that “pretty soon, they’ll come for that, too.”

They very well could.

It made me think….what if they come for it all—all of our stories and poems and songs and books and movies, but each one of us could save something….what would it be? (Like Dolly Madison saved the portrait of Washington from the burning White House).

So, I wonder if Treepers would contribute to an “American cultural treasure chest” by suggesting the title of a poem, story, book, movie, song, or even of a photo or painting that was an important part of his or her own growing up. I’d be glad to collect all the suggestions together into something Jack and other parents and grandparents could share with their children and grandchildren as a way of connecting them to American history and culture—through the eyes of ordinary American people.

I was just reading …“Casey at the bat,” and I would definitely save that. It was the first poem that ever made me cry. And the book my mother read to me over and over again when I was very little, “The Little Engine that Could.” And Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” And all of the Rogers and Hammerstein musicals. And “Gone With the Wind.”

I wonder what bits of your own cultural history you would save?

If people are planning to be with friends and family this 4th of July weekend, the question might be a great conversation starter.

So, I pass on this idea, and a few thoughts.

If it is worth saving, it is worth sharing, teaching, discussing, promoting. Lots of us are feeling that we should do something to stop the insanity going on in this country right now, but not sure exactly where to start or what to do.

At 62, with no real talents except cooking and pissing people off left and right, I have now reached the Don’t Give a Red Hot Damn stage in my life, and I feel I do not have a lot to lose in the battles to come, which for me have mostly been fought on social media. Should things escalate I would imagine that there are more than a few cantankerous old people who are also at that stage.

But I do have one other talent and ability, perhaps the most important of my life. I can teach, and I love to, although I am not a professional and have no degree in teaching. I have tutored my own and other kids along the way, and now I have grandchildren.

Those grandchildren will learn things from me. It is time I gave more thought to what exactly I want to spend time teaching them. Of course I have always had books here for them, and my eight year old granddaughter, who loves to read, just asked me to get some longer books to keep here for her. I bought Heidi and Swiss Family Robinson a few months ago. I also keep children’s religious stories and books, and since she had her First Holy Communion recently,  a Bible for her, and some more advanced books dealing with her studies to prepare her for the Sacrament.

So, my point is this. Education and knowledge and influence are weapons and we have the ability to use them. I have a lot of time with my grandchildren, and today is the day to make a little more time for important things, and I don’t just mean books.

I’ve taught some of the kids some cooking basics, as well as started teaching them to bake breads. My husband is a genius at fixing any and everything, and a very good mechanic. He has always taken the time to answer the kids’ questions and let them help him with his projects, and fixing their own broken things.

What talents, skills, and knowledge can you pass on? I might even think about volunteering as a tutor in inner city schools. There are lots of places that people with good intent can pass on what we have to share.

Happy 4th of July Treepers!

Added note: Please read the post. There is a reason for it. It isn’t another post for political rage, sarcasm, anger, and insults. The Treeper who suggested this is going to compose a listing of all your ideas that might be shared. Do we have to make her sort through rants?

This entry was posted in Celebrations, Election 2020, History, Treehouse Campfire, Uncategorized, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

774 Responses to Independence Day Reflections

  1. S werner says:

    The book Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes. I read the book when I was taking 6th grade American history. I aced the test and the teacher thought I had cheated but everything she asked was in the book. I’ve been hooked on historical fiction ever since

    Liked by 2 people

    • Realist says:

      Maybe now people will start to look at the REAL history of Black slavery more closely and realize that virtually ALL Black slaves were originally taken in to slavery by OTHER BLACKS then sold to MUSLIM ARAB SLAVE TRADERS who took them to the coast and only there were they sold to WHITES. The WHITES took SLAVES because that is the only thing AFRICA had to offer them in exchange for the MANUFACTURED GOODS they wanted from WESTERN NATIONS. No country in Africa had any manufacturing capabilities at that time they had to wait for WHITE MEN to introduce them. So a triangular Trade was set up , manufactured Goods from English Factories sent to Africa and exchanged for SLAVES who were taken to the USA and MOST to the rest of the America’s where they were sold for COTTON and other raw materials which went back to the UK factories to make more manufactured goods.

      Liked by 3 people

    • paulashley says:

      Have you read “Drums” by James Boyd? I loved this one and others in the Scribners Illustrated Classics series that had the wonderful art of N.C. Wyeth.


    • CO Hokie says:

      Complete Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris
      Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith


  2. jimmy2times says:

    I’d save Trump and Sundance on a national treasure level. Personal level. Go back in time 8 months and save my step son
    Now that would be better than saving all movies pics statues ..def poems. Poems are so fng overrated ..I said it. I doesn’t regret it… All of it.
    U can have all of it. That said sorry. I know this is off topic and what this is about. I get it
    I’m sure many who lost people in the last yr get why I had to chime in. Nothing replaces people
    All that said I’d love to personally throw a pile of rotten eggs at every ahole who ripped down a statue or looted etc duromg those so called peaceful whatever

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ad rem says:

      jimmy… my condolences on the loss of your step son. I know the sadness will never be entirely gone, however, I hope that as each day passes, it will become a little easier for you all to bear.

      Liked by 5 people

      • jimmy2times says:

        Thank you!! And I appreciate all u and Sundance do Ad rem!! U guys are the best. Felt like a family before I even ever posted here…truly the best internet or online site I ever came across. Just unbelievable. Truly the last ref refuge..
        Side story. Was out running today in mass town
        Almost ran into guy. Semi main road small town. He was walking out onto road. Kinda jerked back. I said no go ahead. He kinda wobbled back and forth. That I stopped pulled my ear bud out. Hes like sorry man…I just dont know what to do anymore
        So..he didn’t wanna get near me to make me afraid orlf…The virus!!!!!. He was a big dude. Tough looking.. Was funny scene
        Wlhe was like sorry man no clue what to do anymore. I was laughing
        I said TX but I’m good man is it the scamdemic u were talk ing about. He laughed said yeah it really is a scamdemic. As I. Jogging by I said I response to his question not sure what to do anymore I said yeah man it really is a scamdemic at this point and hey. Dont wear a mask
        Dont show anyone u care about it anymore. Forget about it. All we can do..!!! Then as I was very very slowly jogging away said happy 4th!!. He was a def patriot agreed loke all and said happy 4th man. This on the home of the Patriots 2 miles from gillette!!!Pat’s baby lolol..had to put plug in…btw. quick side note. Cam may make a splash but stidham the next Pat’s qb. Book it. I mean next great Pat’s qb. Also Happy 4th Ad rem and Sundance and all treepsters..!! We will make this country great again!!!sorry for long all u guys!!

        Liked by 3 people

      • jimmy2times says:

        He would have been 26 this week too.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Okydoky says:

      jimmy i am sorry for your loss, i lost my Marine 96 yr old Mom last yr. Blessings to youand your family


  3. WSB says:

    Games on Independence Day with the grandparents…

    Liked by 4 people

  4. A late entry.
    “Porgy and Bess” with Louis and Ella.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of my favorites! Still listen to Louis and Ella..

      I don’t know if anyone has mentioned “To Kill a Mockingbird”; love that book.
      And I do believe my daughter saved the book entitled “Little Black Sambo”; we just loved it so much.
      I remember it being read to me in school, with the teacher using sound effects. We actually thought we were a part of the jungle! What a wonderful childhood experience but today…it’s bad all of a sudden and at 71…still don’t get it…color me old and dumb I guess but it was a part of children learning about another culture and it was fun.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. BCF81 says:

    If I may suggest an entry from pop culture (and another recommendation from the sci-fi genre), a show that has always inspired me. I was born In the early 80’s and come from a family of aviators and NASA fans. I always marveled at the optimism of going to the moon:

    “There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

    We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” — John F. Kennedy

    Star Trek was always a wonderful expression of the American ideal boldly going into outer space:

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Paul Gallant says:

    “It is not true that the mission of the law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our will, our education, our sentiments, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things. Law, because it has force for its necessary sanction, can only have the domain of force, which is justice.

    The social organs are constituted so as to enable them to develop harmoniously in the grand air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, and their chains, and their hooks, and their pincers! Away with their artificial methods! Away with their social laboratories, their governmental whims, their centralization, their tariffs, their universities, their State religions, their inflationary or monopolizing banks, their limitations, their restrictions, their moralizations, and their equalization by taxation! And now, after having vainly inflicted upon the social body so many systems, let them end where they ought to have begun — reject all systems, and try of liberty — liberty, which is an act of faith in God and in His work”.

    Claude Frédéric Bastiat

    Liked by 3 people

  7. leavemygunsalone says:

    Not really 4th of July per se, but Americana, I love reading all the old church fund raiser cook books. I have a book shelf full of them. Great reading as well as some mighty fine recipes.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Lucille says:

    10 American films I loved as a teen in the 50s….

    “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946) – Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews
    “Going My Way” (1944) – Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald
    “The Quiet Man” (1952) – John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara
    “Mrs. Miniver” (1942) – Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon
    “The Bridge On the River Kwai” (1958) – William Holden, Alec Guinness
    “Singin’ In the Rain” (1952) – Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor
    “The Searchers” (1956) – John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter
    “East of Eden” (1954) – James Dean, Julie Harris, Raymnd Massey
    “Rebel Without A Cause” (1955) – James Dean, Natalie Wood
    “Giant” (1956) – James Dean, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor

    Go to for plot descriptions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GB Bari says:

      Seen them all. Most of them more than once. Several more than half a dozen times.
      All have Solid scripts with decent messages and morals, representing genuine American values that are (or ought to be) timeless, despite the time periods in which the stories took place.


      • Lucille says:

        One of the Los Angeles TV stations, I think Channel 9, would run the same film each night at 7:30 for a week. It was called The Million Dollar Movie. The station purchased the rights to the films perhaps from RKO or Paramount. If there was a film I particularly liked, I’d beg my mother to let me see it several times…and occasionally I’d get to watch the same film all five evenings. LOL! My father didn’t get home from work until 11:30 PM and likely he wouldn’t have been so indulgent if he’d clocked out at an earlier time. He wasn’t a movie fan.

        I’m fairly sure that’s where I saw the early Cary Grant films (“My Favorite Wife” for one) and the Rogers/Astaire movies…”Rio, flying down to Rio….”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie says:

      I’ve been wondering what to add to that amazing list- and I really love Booth Tarkington. I enjoy the character evolution of the characters in Alice Adams and The Magnificent Ambersons. And how wealth does not equate character and it can take life altering events to make someone take their own personal blinders off. Kids at school read the worst literature- I really wish these books were on those lists.


    • paulashley says:

      “The Searchers” is a favorite. Another great one is “The Human Comedy” with Mickey Rooney.


    • Olorin says:

      James Dean and Rock Hudson were homosexuals; Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood were not clean women. I would not expose my grandchildren to any of these people/their images. Actually we try to avoid Hollywood content altogether. Maybe when they’re older. But in childhood, sitting and staring at flashing lights that change the brain is not a good idea. Playing, building, reading, listening, learning instruments—that is where we go.

      The Popular Mechanics “The Boy Mechanic” series predated my dad’s youth but the books were loved by him, passed down to us…and open to all at Here’s one of the volumes. Download them now before Archive gets destroyed with the excuse of “intellectual property law.”


  9. Ramii says:

    One of my favorites, both the book and movie: “Where the lilies bloom”
    Another would be “Felicia” by Eleanor Frances Lattimore.


  10. jojotom01 says:

    When Memorial Day celebrations were canceled, my wife heard the suggestion to display the flag with red, white and blue candles. So we did it for the 4th of July also.


    • jojotom01 says:

      We also made a video of this flag with “Mansions of the Lord/Sgt MacKenzie” from “We Were Soldiers” in the background. (Also fireworks, cars, an airplane, and some birds chirping.)


      • paulashley says:

        I first heard “Mansions of The Lord” sung at Reagan’s funeral. An army brat, I get choked up every time I hear it.


    • Olorin says:

      So what you’re saying is that the state didn’t have power to cancel those celebrations, right?

      That is something to hold on to. THEY cannot cancel us, no matter how strong “cancel culture” gets.

      They can Cancel-Culture our cherished community celebrations in the name of their totalitarian bioterrorism false flags…but they CANNOT cancel our culture.


  11. MIKE says:

    Beautiful post , Menagerie. Happy 4th and May God bless and keep us all.
    I would only add the emphasis to all that have Moms or Dads to talk to them, and learn all you can about your family history. I didn’t find out my Dad In WWII until my teen years , by accident. He didn’t really want to be badgered about it, those guys made a pact with God and stuck to it.
    Problem was, l wasn’t smart enough to badger them about the family tree.
    There is nothing I can find about my dad’s side of my family beyond a census report from 1940, and I have possession of a yearbook titled “boys of ‘98, Ohio Regiment. It’s my Grandfathers yearbook from the Spanish American war. I never met him, although my dad’s mom did hold me in her arms.
    Sorry to digress, the point being, the more you can learn from firsthand experience, the more you can pass on to our children, to preserve the pride it takes to ignore history being erased, because you know the closet thing to the truth.
    That, of course, and reading here and Stella’s.
    Ask questions while you can.
    Love everyone here
    I had a wonderful 4th,
    God bless you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The Demon Slick says:

    I’m extremely disappointed with what I believe to be a censored debate. I reserve my displeasure because I realize that the vagueries of wordpress may have led me to misunderstand. The person I disagree with also has a right to have their comments read. I can no longer see either of us. I was saying that America paid for the sin of slavery with rivers of blood and hundreds of thousands of lives and stop bending over backwards to show how not racist you are. Your debt was paid and paid again.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. George Orwells 1984
    Arsenic and Old Lace. Funniest movie ever!
    Johnny Cash’s ragged flag poem


  14. nwtex says:


    • Olorin says:

      I’m sure the pets and wildlife in the middle of weeks/months/years of BLM’s/Antifa’s/the left’s burning of entire neighborhoods were OK with that though.


  15. Archibald MacLeish’s wonderfully folksy free-verse poem “Colloquy for the States.”


  16. SherryS says:

    Menagerie, this is an awesome idea! I am glad you passed it along from one of our Treepers. They have already “cancelled” one of my favorites, The Song of the South. I loved ol Br’er Rabbit! And I was constantly singing a child. One of my best memories is watching this on the big screen at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and then going to see the Cyclorama off of Blvd. Good times!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Nancy Macfarlane says:

    Johnny Tremain , by Esther Forbes. It should be a must read for all young Americans.

    The Awakening Land, by Conrad Richter, a trilogy, The Trees, The Fields, The Town. Early pioneers settling the Western Reserve in Ohio. Stunning. Older readers.


  18. lyricdiva says:

    The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, Pinocchio, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Little House on the Prairie, Mary Poppins, Aesop’s Fables, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Little Women, Alice in Wonderland, Paul Revere’s Ride… there are too many! Excellent suggestion though, that we should all take direct responsibility for passing down what matters, and guarding our treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. paulashley says:

    I’m still thinking about this and what has popped into my mind are mostly books that built my relationship with my country. That reading started at a very early age when, in the second grade, I fell in love with the “We Were There” series of historical novels for children. “We Were There On the Oregon Trail” was perhaps my favorite and I still remember the final line about our destiny to extend “from sea to shining sea”.

    I have no idea how accurately these book portrayed events, but I do know they fostered a deep love of our great country. Many of these are still available and could be great resource for home-schoolers who think primarily of Rush’s children’s books for this age group.


  20. paulashley says:

    Another bit of American ingenuity for kids: The Classics Illustrated comics got me interested in great literature when the real thing was a bit beyond me.


  21. Jlwary says:

    An excerpt from Chapter 1 of Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1912).
    Mary is a NY maid to Cedric and Dearest, Cedric’s mother, who describes little 7 year old Cedric’s politics in this excerpt:
    “And, indade,” said Mary to the groceryman, —
    “nobody cud help laughin’ at the quare little
    ways of him—and his ould-fashioned sayin’s’
    Didn’t he come into my kitchen the noight the
    new Prisident was nominated and shtand afore
    the fire, lookin’ loike a pictur’, wid his hands in
    his shmall pockets, an his innocent bit of a face as sayrious as a jedge? An’ sez he to me:
    ‘Mary, sez he, “I’m very much int’rusted in the
    ‘lection, sez he. “I’m a ‘publican, an’so is Dear
    est. Are you a ‘publican, Mary P’ “Sorra a bit,’
    sez I; ‘I’m the bist o’ dimmycrats!’ An’ he
    looks up at me wid a look that ud go to yer
    heart, an’ sez he : ‘Mary, sez he, ‘the country
    will go to ruin. An nivver a day since thin has
    he let go by widout argyin’ wid me to change
    me polytics.”

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Morgan Mayfair says:

    So much of what I read as a kid I see now had leftist propaganda embedded in it. Perhaps those stories are still okay if the teacher can point out the parts that were propaganda and what a person might take away from it.
    That said, I loved Longfellow, especially the midnight ride…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ATheoK says:

    The complete collection of Oz stories by ‘L. Frank Baum’.

    Uncle Wiggily by ‘Howard R. Garis’

    Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy stories by ‘by Johnny Gruelle’

    All of Euell Gibbon’s books.

    Everything by Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).

    Anything written by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

    “My Life and Hard Times” by ‘James Thurber’. Anything written, drawn or painted by James Thurber.

    The entire “Crunch and Des” series by Philip Wylie. Anything else by Phil Wylie is also worth a read, if your blood pressure can take it.

    Corey Ford’s Sporting treasury and almost anything else written by Corey Ford.

    Boy’s Life treasury – a collection of stories for boys.

    “Puff the magic dragon” by Peter Yarrow.
    “The White Album” by the Beatles

    “Your Own Book of Campcraft” – May 1, 1971 by Catherine T. Hammett
    Bushcraft Illustrated: A Visual Guide – by Dave Canterbury
    (Real camp craft survival skills that the TV survivalists (actors) should have read and practised.)

    “The Tracker: The True Story of Tom Brown Jr.” – October 15, 1986,
    anything by Tom Brown for that matter.

    “Ishi the Last Yahi” by Robert F. Heizer | May 5, 1981
    “Ishi in Two Worlds” A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America by Theodora Kroeber, Lewis Gannett, et al.

    Everything written by Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Feynman
    “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character” – February 6, 2018 by Richard P. Feynman.

    There used to be a terrific bookstore in Philadelphia, Leary’s with a long history of bookselling.
    Multiple floors of books, new and used.

    Hours flew by as seconds when browsing Leary’s shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. rebelinme2 says:

    Unpatriotic as it seems, I would like to save the complete Sunday night Walt Disney movies from the 50s and 60s, before Disney became corrupted. I embodies a wholesome time of family gathering together with popcorn or strawberry shortcake and cuddling while enjoying the movies together every Sunday night… was as dependable as going indoors when the streetlights came on.


  25. P says:

    Menagerie: Would CTH be able to place this article on the sidebar as a permanent link? Maybe somewhere up near the top of the sidebar? As this 4th of July passes into history, there are lots of people who may never know about this article and all the wonderful comments that exist along with it. So many wonderful books, songs, poems, videos, pics, etc. are mentioned. So much insight and so many wonderful memories/comments that I’m sure would be a wonderful blessing to new visitors as well as to all of us regular visitors to return to over and over again and even continue to add to in the comment section. Please think about doing this. Thank you and Sundance and everyone else, too, for the truly life-changing contributions found at this wonderful website.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisafcc says:

      P, don’t worry! I’m the author of the post and was amazed by the generosity of all the Treepers. Your posts made me happy for the entire day. I am in the process of downloading and collecting them all. I will categorize them and arrange them into something user friendly. Then I’ll offer them back to the community for the team to post as they see fit. I’ll be finished before the end of the summer. Keep your eyes peeled and thanks for the encouragement!


      • P says:

        Lisafcc: You’re very welcome; I will definitely be watching. Thank YOU so much for coming up with such an amazing gift to all of us! Num 6:24-26


  26. P says:

    If not mentioned, “On The Beach” with Gregory Peck is a really good movie (although set in Australia). “After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.”


  27. paris23 says:

    Leftists and foreign students in our universities are working to erase all white (American, European, etc.) scholarship and literature. We should save everything we can. I now regret all the books I have given away, but will keep what I still have and add to my collection over time. It’s an odd thing, but I have the full collection of the Dean Martin Show on DVD. I was thinking of donating it to an old folks home… Should I keep it? Maybe it would be more useful in our elders. I do have DVD’s of some classics. I will keep those. Your post gave me food for thought, Sundance. I have thought about this for a while, but we need to do this consciously, with purpose.


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