Hattie’s View: Celebrate but include prayers

By Ellen Coffey

What’s your favorite July 4th Memory?

Our forefathers expected this holiday to honor the faithfulness of God: for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

This year the fourth falls on a Thursday.

For home bodies, Dreher Island, Lake Murray, Spence Point, Saluda Shoals planned fireworks over the water to be seen by boaters or folks on the banks, meanwhile radio station 93.1, play patriotic background music, reaching Fort Jackson’s annual military celebration as well as well as Gilbert’s famous Peach Festival.

But wait, this is all over before the 4th, thus leaving the actual Holiday open to travel.

What about the mom who takes her holiday weekend, cashes in her 401k so she and family of 5 can travel 5,580 miles across the continents to see Taylor Swift in concert at Amsterdam, Holland? Hmmm.

Considering the pinch at the pump some celebrate freedom with backyard cookouts in more traditional ways.

A happy outcome: My sister’s sons, received their mom’s ashes this week.

She can now rest in peace.

But wait: There’s more, this year I took notice of our national bird, the North American Bald Eagle, soaring effortlessly, high above the tallest landscape.

His 7’ wingspan shows determination and strength to fly above the fray symbolizing our nation’s keen eye and military strength over land and sea.

Finally, I’ll share one of my personal childhood memories of July 4th.

Dad’s family lived on Greene Street across from the the State Farmers Market, often referred to as the Curb Market, located on Assembly Street at that time. (1934-1950?)

I routinely visited my friends, vendors near the Banana House, located on the 900 block (bananas were ripened there by Ethylene gas).

I had a wonderful 4th of July that year. American flags waved overhead as I skipped along among the spray mists of fruits, veggies and flowers, stopping to pet my friend’s dogs and laugh at the mules wearing their colorful sunbonnets.

I no longer remember the mules names but I recall the feel of their noses as I fed them apples too ripe to sell.

After taking bananas and a sunflower to Mama I quickly returned for a longer visit, occasionally seated on an orange crate.

My purpose in sharing this particular 4th of July memory is to show how the long arm of God reaches into the future to answer prayers and to protect.

The following November 6th, that same year, the Banana House exploded, leaving a 100-ft wide pile of rubble, killing five and seriously injuring eight.

Columbia Fire Dept. chief Marsh reported, “it may have a cigarette that set off the explosion”

That being the case, it could have exploded any day.

It was traumatic. Five dead, casualties in a freak accident.

Little did I know one of those eight severely injured would one day become my bother-in-law, Philip Vaughn. Small world, huh?

I may share more details from my archives in November‘s column, should the Lord allow.

Is there anything better than praying for each other’s safety over these long weekend Holidays?

Have fun. Celebrate, but include prayers, Y’all.