As an expat, the 4th of July is a fun day. You get the day off of work, eat food and get to hangout with family and friends. What’s not to like?
The outpouring of American patriotism has a different flavour to that of its Australian equivalent. If Australia Day is lamingtons, then the 4th of July is a vanilla sponge cake with cream frosting topped with blueberries and strawberries. (Mmm — cake!).
So much of what the 4th of July means to me was gleaned from American television and movies when I was growing up in Australia. Shows such as the Wonder Years, Pollyanna, and the Sandlot Kids. Consequently, I always expect the day to be real ‘small town America’ with bike riding, drinking soda through red and white striped straws, watching baseball, seeing the town grump waving an American flag at the parade down Main Street, and ooh-ing at the fireworks. It’s a day cushioned by nostalgia. But in big city America the day is a little different to that, and that’s okay.
We slept in and awoke refreshed and excited for what the day was to bring. Whilst it didn’t bring cake and bike riding, we got our fill of Americana at the baseball. We headed over to the East Bay to watch the Oakland Athletics play the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox have devoutly loyal fans, and the American was not lying when he said that their fans at the game would outnumber those supporting the home team. BART was full of BoSox fans, and it was as though they were the home team. The Coliseum was dressed up in patriotic bunting, and the grass exquisitely manicured. In the outfield, it was sunny in the high 70s (mid 20s) with a beautiful cooling breeze to make life rather comfortable. Feeling the sun on my skin was wonderful — you rarely get days like that in The City.
Each time Boston made a great play, a roar would go up from the crowd. And there was none bigger than when ‘Big Papi’, David Ortiz, hit is 400th Career home run. Being able to see that was a real treat. It’s right up there with seeing the San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds hit his 754th home run at AT&T Park.
And as fate would have it, I photographed the winning run sequence. Jamile Weeks was on deck and smacked the ball out near center field to bring home Coco Crisp (who has the most amazing name in all of baseball).
One of the interesting parts of the day was the feeling of isolation I felt in the crowd. I wasn’t unhappy, I just felt alone. Here I was, with five friends and surrounded by thousands of people, and yet I felt alone. So I turned my attention to trying to capture that feeling of isolation. Do you ever feel that way in large crowds?
When I was looking through the pics on my computer last night, I found a gem: a moment in time. They were not the focus of my picture, but they turned out to be the best thing in it. I love that.
What did you do for Independence Day yesterday?
This is the sixty-first post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Three times a week for an entire year, I will be writing about life and travel and random subjects . The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone. If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.