Editors note: I have one more travel blog entry from Vietnam to write called the” Library System of Vietnam. It will be a long blog probably done in several installments. I am not through writing it and I am home, enjoying my place in this wonderful land, Larned (my home town), Kansas in the good old USA. The following blog is on the 4th of July Celebration in Larned at the home of Clark and Judy Redding. These kinds of celebrations happen all over the United States. Family and friends get together in backyards and enjoy an evening of friendship and family. Clark in a very special way gives a speech every year at this event on what it means to be an American. Clark's speech, good food, special surroundings, family and friends make this a special time, “The Event” in Larned Kansas.
Before I get into the 4th of July blog I want to apprise my blog readers that the “International Family Magazine” has been publishing some of my stories. You are invited to read my latest story on my “Multicultural Extended Family” in the July issue. Go to:
Clark and Judy Redding's 4th of July Celebrations]
Jack, on right with cane
Jack tells some of his exciting tales of government service.
It was a perfect evening; the air was pristine, scented by an herb garden, in a neighborhood of beautiful lawns, flowers, trees and homes. It was just the right temperature, something we don't always enjoy in Kansas. Kansas is a place where we have extremes in weather. “Don't like the weather?” Just wait, it will change soon in Kansas. This evening was perfect as we gathered on the beautiful lawn of Clark and Judy Redding's.
Clark is the son of my high school football Coach George (Crump) Redding. He is also my crop insurance agent and his services were very valuable this year as a hail storm destroyed half of our wheat crop.
Clark always catches enough fish for the evening. This evening was catfish and it was goooood. Clark comes from a large family that probably considered themselves poor, but they were rich in many ways. His Dad Coach Crump was an amazing fisherman and provided a lot of food for the family table by fishing creeks, rivers and lakes of Kansas. I and two other people were once on a weekend fishing trip with Crump. Crump caught 35 Walleye and Northern Pike. The three of
Mrs Mark Shoup up close.
us caught nothing. He not only knew how to catch fish he knew how to cook them and everything else. He equaled the Vietnamese I know who can cook anything and make it good.
Judy is a retired teacher and my Grandson Wesley had the pleasure of having her as a teacher. Judy came from a famous pioneer family in Pawnee County called Frizzells.
Her family developed Fort Larned as a very successful cattle ranch and farm.
The house where the Redding’s live used to belong to Judy's Grandparents. The Redding's have maintained the grand house mindful of its historical heritage.
It is not only friends and family that show up at this event. Sometimes we are blessed with a VIP. This year it was a man named Jack who was born into a very poor family in Pennsylvania but ended up his career as the highest nonappointed government employee. He planned the funeral of President John Kennedy.
Clark always announces the ground rules for the celebration. They are: If you are under twenty-one years of age and sitting in a chair and you see someone older, get up an offer your chair.
are under twenty-one and are in front of an old person, offer the older person your place in the line
Take all you want to eat, just eat all you take.
Probably some more rules but since I am so old, I don't have to worry about them.
Clark also gives a patriotic speech.
I end this blog about America's 4th of July celebration with some excerpts from another family. If you remember my blogs about the Protestant Church of Danang and the leper colony you might remember Reverend Stanly Smith. He was the son of Rev. Gordon and Laura Smith.
He and his wife Ginny have a daughter Kristen who is a wife of a business man who does some business in Africa. Last February 28th 2008 she was airlifted to Great Britain suffering from a brain aneurysm. She and her family has been in the United States while she convalesces from her surgery.
She gave her family and kids, Nikole, Lukas, Deven, a very typical 4th of July celebration by enjoying a baseball game, traditional food like hotdogs and a fireworks demonstration. Her blog is very interesting and here is her blog
May we always have the desire to celebrate our freedoms as Americans.
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