That quote came at the end of the fireworks on the Fourth of July. By a neighbor who didn’t know exactly how profound she was in her observation.
Now, a bit of background. I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The grocery store where I used to shop got looted during the riots. A number of places I love and have shopped at for decades are no longer as a result of the riots and the Chinese flu. Combined, of course, with the SUPREME DIKTAT of Governor Walz of Minnesota. He’s decided that he needs his power unfettered until the emergency is over. You all remember that emergency, the one that was going to last two weeks into April? Yeah, that one. Well, in Minnesota the threat is looming at all times that things will shut down again, and it’s a damned oppressive place between protest marches, governors drunk on power, angry mobs blocking traffic on the freeway (*you are no longer a protester when you block the freeway*), and the annual arrival of yellow jackets.
But Saturday night did feel like normal. The neighbors gathered on the front porch of her home, ate deserts (which were awesome), drank beer from the cooler the other neighbor dragged over, and watched the little kids light snakes and sparklers. Around 7:30 the foot traffic in the neighborhood picked up substantially, and hundreds of people gathered to watch an amateur fireworks exhibition in the park.
Now, usually I’m not a big fan of people doing this themselves, the stuff is very dangerous. But it was clear that whomever had paid for the night had hired pros to set it up. Mind you, a rack did tip over and strafe the crowd, but no casualties I saw.
As the night wore on, the fog grew thicker – there was no wind and the smoke from the gunpowder hung in the air. People came and went, chairs were lugged, coolers dragged, a good time was had by hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
All of this, every delicious drop of it, was done with no government regulation, no permit *that I know of*, no special tax, and not a single mask in sight.
That’s right – the common man is done with masks. This crowd was acting free on a day celebrating liberty. I’m guessing there will be a gigantic spike in cases of Wuhan flu – or not. I mean, we don’t do statistics at protests and riots, so will they insist on knowing if you attended a celebration of freedom?
But it felt normal. It was normal. It was what a free people do when they are free.
I loved it. It gives me hope for my nation. It makes me proud of who I am. And not one person stopped another and said they were not welcome based on appearance. Not one person was shamed into wearing a mask. Because that’s how the real America rolls: we love each other. The press needs to shut up about their selective vision. I dare them to report honestly on how Americans deal with each other in their own neighborhoods. Neighbors hanging out with neighbors – and my neighborhood is a vital mix of different peoples.
But it sure felt normal. And it felt good.