Happy July 4 which, for most of us in Manch, means Happy July 3 memories

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How many Fouth of July crowds has this sentinel at Derryfield Park stood watch over?

Forty-three years ago tonight, July 3rd, 1977, right about this time, my dad and mom, my brothers, and I were wandering around Derryfirled Park, amongst an ocean of people, looking for the perfect place to settle in and watch the fireworks.

I remember shortly after we sat down, a group of grown-ups right next to us were setting off sparklers and their blanket started to catch on fire. But, due to quick thinking (and a cooler full of beer) they quickly extinguished their patriotic blaze by pouring their 16-ounce bottles of Budweiser on the blanket.

That, in itself, was quite the display. I was fully entertained. And glad I was a kid.

I will never forget that night. Or going to the fireworks in a park, not a parking lot, surrounded by… well… everyone.

Happy 4th, Manch people.