I could write a book about Growing Up Garlock. The multitude of traditions, the many little quirks and family style occasions that mostly centered around the Outdoors that I grew up with and still live by. The 4th of July is one of those occasions where the Garlock tribe has always come together for good food and fun times.
Growing up, every 4th of July was spent camping in the mountains which meant usually I was only given a sparkler or two to light and hold safely over the campfire.
Sometimes other campers (that dared camp within the vicinity of a Garlock camp compound) would shoot off real fireworks and I can remember my elders grumbling about the morons that must want to burn down the forest.
Sparklers roasting over a campfire was actually a real treat in those days.
But about 10 years ago the Garlocks broke a 60 year tradition and found a small town, still in the Mountains of course, to celebrate their 4th of July.
I’ve tried to explain to the innocents who have never experienced a 4th of July in the small sleepy town of Garden Valley that for one night every year, there seems to be no such things as say, laws or even guidelines.
Civil disobedience is almost…expected.
In the big city of Boise Idaho where I reside, a firework that ‘lifts off the ground’ is considered illegal and the cops WILL come for you if you shoot one off.
An hour away in a typically quiet mountain town, if your firework doesn’t lift off the ground at least 20 feet and threaten bodily harm to those around, it is considered rather boring by the watching mob.
I asked various family members what how they would describe this unique experience and this is what I got:
Cousin: Vietnam War
Friend: Good Town Gone Crazy
Cousin: The War Zone
In other words, it’s pretty crazy and all of us go with the full understanding that we will return to the late night campfire to assess the damage and tell our stories of how we got: Deaf ears, burns in various locations on our bodies, burnt eyes from all the debris, holes burned in our chairs and other various collateral damage.
We also talk about how it was a blast and we can’t wait to do it again next year.
All photos by my daughter Kaitlyn ~ taken from behind the safety of her camera