A festive affair

Friends and Family Celebrate

Fourth of July meant picnics. My mother had a “Sunday School” group which met periodically. They were women with whom she had grown up but they still met regularly. On July 4th, we had a picnic on our lawn for the Sunday School class and their families .

The 2 Kerr families, the Kleins and perhaps others came for hot dogs, salads, ice cream and root beer. We made the root beer several weeks earlier, mixing the ingredients in a big wash tub. It was made of water, sugar and root beer extract along with yeast. We bottled it using a bottle capper and stored it in the cellar for several weeks. It was delicious. When I was young, fireworks were legal and a big part of 4th of July. A week or so before the day, we would go up to White Horse where they had fireworks stands along the highway. We chose various rockets, pin wheels, Roman candles and fireworks with care. On the 4th, you could hear firecrackers going off from the crack of dawn. In the evening, we set off the pin wheels and rockets in the back yard at the site of the picnic. We had only one incident of injury. Lillian Kerr forgot to throw a firecracker she had lighted and it went off in her hand. Sometimes on July 4th and on other occasions we went on picnics to places such as Washington Crossing State Park and Bowman’s Hill Tower. Our school sometimes had a picnic at Trenton’s Cadwalader Park each spring. The park had a zoo consisting of few bears and monkeys in cages. We played games like 3 legged race, wheel barrow race, peanut scramble.