Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America.

I wanted to do something special for July 4th and I can't think of anything more special than spending the day with family.

My wife and I went out to Riis Beach in the Rockaways this morning for some quiet time, then we all drove down to Pennsylvania to surprise her mother and some of the rest of our relatives, including my brother-in-law, recently home safely from Afghanistan, and our youngest nephew, who's just starting to walk.

We've a lot to celebrate this year and we had a great time, just as I hope you all did.

After dinner - lots of good food and good local beer - we all sat out on the back porch and sang songs. I love being surrounded by family and whatever I do, I can only ever give them back a small part of the kindness they've given me.

The nicest thing of all? When I was talking about the project earlier in the evening, they'd asked me how much I'd made on my best day so far. Just less than nine dollars, I said.

When I packed up tonight, there were exactly nine dollars in the case.

On the way back to New York, we watched from the car as fireworks lit up the sky at towns all along the route until finally the red, white and blue lights on the Empire State Building let us know we were home.

And much as I'll always love where I grew up, this is really home now.

Party Songlist:

This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
When You Say Nothing At All - Alison Krauss
Here Comes The Sun - Beatles
Long Walk Home - Bruce Springsteen
The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
I Want You Back - Jackson Five
Underneath The Stars - Kate Rusby
Magnolia Street - Catie Curtis
Good Riddance - Green Day
Walking In Memphis - Marc Cohn
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard - Paul Simon
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - Elton John
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Run - Snow Patrol

There were many star turns tonight that could have made BuskerCam, but this is my stepdaughter Chelsea, singing 'Magnolia Street' by Catie Curtis. However you spent your July 4th, I wish you peace and happiness.

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