John’s subway-riding buddy Ron and his wife Kathy stayed with us a couple of days on their loop around the US. Ron and John went to a Lutheran high school in the Bronx for three years together. On some Saturdays they would meet underground and ride the New York City subway system for the sheer joy of it. I remember John’s saying they could ride for hours without having to pay another fare, because they knew where the transfer points were. We last saw them at their home in Arizona in 2015.
Our neighborhood Fourth of July party went ahead as planned with 14 of us around the table. It was too hot to be on the porch this year. We ran out of chairs and asked David and Nathaniel to sit on stools.
Ron offered to play checkers with neighbor Logan (8), and the boy was delighted to have a new opponent. Logan won the first game and Ron the second.
This was another good year in the ‘hood for fireworks. There were two households further up the mountain shooting off beautiful fireworks for almost two hours. The free show began about 9 pm, just after John left to pick Nathaniel up from work. Nathaniel thought he and Grandpa might watch the fireworks in Maggie Valley as they did last year, but John said they’d better get home. They came home to the local celebration up the mountain. We laughed and teased Nathaniel that after every long pause he said that must be the end. A few minutes later another shower of light went up. After we went inside for dessert, we heard a few more explosions.
I snagged everyone for a group photo before Ron and Kathy left. We were by no means talked out, but they had many other people to visit.
Sometimes the camera is out when a silly moment happens. The fellows were teasing each other and ended in a group hug.