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July 04, 2018


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David Pritchett

I played third clarinet in this every year, off and on, for forty years in the Quincy Park Band. When hometown bands like the one I performed with played this at the end of the 4th of July concert, our crowds all stood from where they had sat in lawn chairs and blankets. Some clapped during the last, percussive strains, as the tempo slowed...but most stood in quiet attention. It is hard to blow into a clarinet mouthpiece while stifling sobs. At least some tears could be attributed to the barbecue smoke from the surrounding picnics. The raucous clapping at the final chord gave good cover for wiping the sweat, etc. after the rousing, occasionally discordant rendition. Then came the fireworks, detonating over the Mississippi River twilight.

Footnote: Captain Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, which changed things, lived in Quincy, Illinois for a short time before WWII. In the 1990s he appeared on the bandstand a few feet from where I sat. By then he was old, still standing at slightly curved military attention, a bit hard of hearing, accepting the applause of the crowd that would later stand for a concluding performance of Stars and Stripes.

I wonder if the staff in the detention facilities where the two thousand immigrant children, separated from their parents, now reside, will explain what all the fireworks means.

Thanks for the two postings.

David C. Pritchett 2134 Maple Avenue Evanston,IL 60201 [email protected]

Scott Pruitt Edndowed Chair in Enviconmental Justice

Forever? "Democracy is not self-executing." President Barack Obama, January 11, 2017.

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