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How We Spent the Fourth

Merritt Martin
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Above, one of Merritt's photos from the Fair Park Fourth -- a review of which is available here, where, um, "Pdiddy" deems the event's debut a success but also "a mixed bag." Some of us opted for a less stressful in-and-out: the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road, from which my folks called around 8:30 p.m. offering choice seating for the Dallas County Club shebang -- if, by "choice," they meant inches from oncoming traffic. Alas, what the unchosen people -- and we were a celebratory mixture of middle-class black, brown and pale, the likes of which will never step foot on the club's hallowed grounds -- will put up with for a not-surprisingly decent display that lasted a good 25 minutes. Though, best of all, it was mere feet from Highland Park Village Starbucks.

Sometime around midnight-thirty, the fireworks stopped in Northwest Dallas; that, or someone declared a cease-fire. But before then, it was quite the delightful morning in the neighborhood -- a fact celebrated this a.m. in Dallas' Only Daily, matter of fact, where the 50th anniversary Sparkman Club Estates July 4 parade was feted with a recap and accompanying video. (Our street won, incidentally -- 'bout damned time too.) After the jump, some photos I took from our neighborhood parade. Incidentally, they asked me to join 'em on the veteran Thomas Jefferson High School cheerleaders' float -- till they realized, "He was JV." --Robert Wilonsky

Council member Mitchell Rasansky, whose wife -- sitting in the back seat, with no AC -- is the real trooper every time her husband has to visit a dozen parades in a day
Makin' it official: The 50th Annual Sparkman Club Estates Parade commences courtesy the Boy Scouts
The classic-car contingent -- otherwise known as the only reason my dad ever got excited about the parade when I was a kid
Thomas Jefferson High School's best and brightest, circa 1985. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, which remains our Patriot cry. Or something.
Oh, so that's what those are for? Actually, this was part of a rather extravagant "Go Green" motif, complete with an recycling float and specially made T-shirts.
Weeks' worth of planning and prep went into making the winning float, which is poorly captured by an amateur photographer.
And, really, nothing says "freedom" more than this photo.

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