Celebrating Independence Together

Celebrating Independence Together

Celebrating Independence Together

By E. Adam Porter

 

The first week in July, every year, my extended family gathers at the beach in my hometown for a weeklong reunion. It’s a wonderful, relaxing time of sharing life together, filled with the familiar aromas of salt air, sunscreen, and delicious grilled meat; of days spent building sandcastles with the little ones and being buried in the sand; of shared jokes and singing, of snorkeling, fishing, spectacular skimboarding wipeouts, walks on the beach, and magnificent sunsets.

We catch up with each other, talk about days gone by, and pass our collective wisdom along to the young ones. The kids giggle as we demonstrate the stingray shuffle, do their best to listen to our lectures about the dangers of riptides, and experience temporary hearing loss when reminded they need another application of sunblock. We collect shells and sand dollars, spot pods of dolphin, and experience the patience-testing chore of untangling an open reel.

Talking with my brothers and our friends, we recall when we were kids with sandy shorts and pruny fingers, begging for Just Five More Minutes swimming in the water or playing in the sand. Those days really don’t seem so long ago… until my niece runs by, chasing her two-year-old daughter. I glance at my brother, thinking: “Wasn’t that us, just yesterday?”

Mom sits under the umbrella and shares stories about the island the way it used to be. We all chime in, reminiscing about fishing off the city pier and stores with shell parking lots. About coquina concrete and small, single-story homes with jalousie windows. The soda bottle vending machine at the bike shop. Building crab traps in the yard, smoked mullet and fried grouper back when the fishing was really good. Sunday afternoons trading stories with the liveaboards at the marina and weekdays cruising the bay after school.

The nostalgia is hypnotic and cathartic, a welcome port in the storms of life, and an oral history of The Way We Were. As kids, we never realized we were collecting memories, but now we’re passing that torch to our children and grandchildren… or would, if we could get them out of the water (five more minutes, pleeeeeeeeezzz!).

During this week, on July 4th, my family comes together with everyone on the island and across the country to commemorate our Founding Fathers’ Declaration of Independence from tyranny. It is, for the kids and for me, one of the best days of Family Beach Week, every year.

The celebration begins with the annual Independence Day Parade, watching the Privateers cruise their benevolent pirate ship down the main drag, tossing beads and firing their water cannons. Far below, on the sidewalk, the kids — armed to the teeth with Super Soakers — give as good as they get.

Later that evening, thousands of tourists and locals line the strand to enjoy one of the most impressive fireworks displays anywhere. Seven miles of sky flowers paint the twilight with booming radiance from horizon to horizon. Beneath that technicolor sky, the kids laugh and dance and sing, waving sparklers to write their names on the night.

Once again, watching them takes me back. When I lean forward to offer a few terse warnings about firework safety, I hear echoes of my parents. And that gets me thinking about how time and circumstance transforms accident-prone children gleefully waving flaming sticks into parents who repeat cautionary tales before lighting similar sticks for their own kids.

Further up the beach, close to the water line, the older teens and twenty-somethings have their own lighters, as well as much larger and more dynamic flaming sticks. The older adults toss them a few cursory safety tips, which they largely ignore. They’ve heard it all before. Soon, though, someone hollers and comes running for some ice from the cooler. We old guys glance at each other and grin. Sometimes, singed fingers are the best way to reinforce the correlation of responsibility and freedom.

And, that gets me thinking about the birthright our Founding Fathers have passed down to us. Defending our Independence is a shared responsibility, a commission handed down by that first generation of Americans. The Founders declared that freedom is every human’s indisputable right. Then they risked everything to prove it, because maintaining freedom requires personal responsibility. Something I remind my boys at every opportunity. Independence is the right of every person, and it’s worth celebrating. It’s also worth defending… I’m glad we’re able to do both together.

Happy Independence Day. 

 

 

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s Vets

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s Vets

99th Birthday Party at Bob’s VetsBy Diane M. Loeffler On the morning of December 16, a party was held at Bob Evans Restaurant for Maurice (Mo) Lanouette. Mo’s actual birthday was Saturday, but the Bob’s Vets group decided to honor Lanouette...

February 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

February 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Get to know SCC at the Information Center, read a recap of the January SCCCA membership and board meetings, learn how the SCC Beautification Corporation helps keep the community looking its best, show your gratitude for our First...

January Membership Meeting

January Membership Meeting

January Membership Meeting By Diane M. Loeffler At 3 p.m. on January 5, 2022, 294 people attended the Sun City Center Community Association Membership Meeting in person and 89 virtually attended using Zoom. In order to meet quorum, two hundred...

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders

A Special “Thank You” for Our First Responders   By Diane M. Loeffler On Wednesday, December 22, a group of Kings Point and Sun City Center Community Association residents met in the lobby of South Bay Hospital to donate money to three groups...

JANUARY 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

JANUARY 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Relive the festive fun of the Holiday Cart Parade, cruise SCC to find colorful lights and holiday decorations, swing by St. Andrew for Rock ‘n’ Roll Crafts and Cars, meet the new SCCCA Board members, check in with the Security...

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship

Welcome Aboard America’s Tall Ship By Ilona Merritt Welcome aboard! You are invited to visit “America’s Tall Ship.” Since 1946, every new Coast Guard cadet undergoing officer training has begun their career by learning to sail on Eagle – the...

New Freestanding ER in SCC

New Freestanding ER in SCC

New Freestanding ER in SCC On May 11, Manatee Memorial Hospital debuted a new freestanding emergency room in our community: The ER at Sun City Center. The new ER, located in front of Walmart at 16504 S. U.S. 301, will expand access to emergency...

Cygnet Yacht Club Awards

Cygnet Yacht Club Awards

Cygnet Yacht Club AwardsBy Paula Lickfeldt, Photo by Rich Link On May 3, the members of the Cygnet Yacht Club had dinner at Club Renaissance. They had a night of socializing and awarded the trophies that the members had won the month before....

Our Earth Day Celebration

Our Earth Day Celebration

Our Earth Day CelebrationBy Diane M. Loeffler April 22 was Earth Day. Once again, the local Audubon Club celebrated the day at the West Campus Nature Trails with tours of our own little piece of “the real Florida.” Free fruit, snacks, water, a...

May 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Check out the Sew’n Sews baby shower benefit, meet the new SCC Activities Director, enjoy Faye McKeown’s art, go Trail Blazing, learn about CA Club facility use, take off in a B-29, clean up with the Boy Scouts, bounce back...

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...