Where Roots Run Deep
By Jill Terhaar Lewis
Buzz, buzz, buzz…my Tweety Bird alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. I spring out of bed to put on my new outfit of red, white, and blue—all right, maybe my older sister Carol did have to wake me and kick me out of bed—but anyway, I’m glad to be up. I’m nine years old and it’s the best day of the summer, the Fourth of July in Greencreek. I had set the alarm to wake up early, so I could go in with my Dad, who will be helping the other men of the St. Anthony Society to make and serve a breakfast of hotcakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns with all the fixings.
While I’ll enjoy the breakfast, as a nine-year-old, I am much more interested in finding out what the prizes are on the bingo table: the toys such as stuffed animals, games, trucks, and dolls, and household goods like dishes, bags of flour, and giant jars of pickles, all arranged in the center of the long oval of benches and tabletops and sorted in tiers. One winning bingo ticket wins prizes from the bottom tier, two for the second-tier prizes, and three for the top. The bingo isn’t yet open, so I amuse myself by buying a grab bag of mystery surprises for two bits (twenty-five cents). The little plastic horses and temporary tattoos are fun, but are more for the toddlers who will come later with their parents. My best friends are not yet there, so I dash outside of the community hall to see if the store is open.
At a little booth, all sorts of exotic toys are sold, such as paper fans, wooden canes, rings with your birthstones, popguns, firecrackers, soda, candy, and ice cream. Every year, the items are different, so it’s exciting to see the debut. There are so many things that it’s fun to take several trips to see what you can purchase this time around. Rats, the booth isn’t open yet, either! Surprisingly, not enough other people are here yet to warrant opening it. I turn away.