HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND to all you fellow Yankee Doodle Dandies, as those of us who have had our vaccinations can once again gather for cookouts, parades and fireworks.
We join Americans of all political stripes and persuasions in saluting Uncle Sam and wishing the Red, White and Blue a very happy 245th!
President Joe Biden is encouraging everyone to get their vaccinations (we join him in that message). First lady Jill Biden will be in Portsmouth today for an Independence Day barbecue with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) at a private barbecue as part of the Biden administration’s “Americans Back Together “ celebration.
In terms of celebrating in the valley, you’ll find everything you need to know in colleague Lloyd Jones’ Fourth of July roundup elsewhere in this edition.
THIS JUST IN: Tamworth canceled its fireworks from Friday on account of rain to next Saturday, July 10, at the K.A. Brett School.
JULY FOURTH FICTION OR FACT(S): A highlight of this trivia-loving reporter’s weeks is tuning in every Friday to WMWV’s “Morning Show” at 8:30 a.m. to hear “Fiction or Face from George Cleveland’s Almanac,” sponsored by Dave and Sue Hausman of Big Dave’s Bagels & Deli.
George and “Morning Show” host Roy “the Skiing DJ” Prescott each week banter as George shares his knowledge from the back of his always curious and creative brain on fascinating tales about the universe.
This past Friday’s Fourth of July preview edition topically enough featured George’s litany of trivia about the Fourth of July — one of which was that the Declaration of Independence was actually signed a month after the Fourth.
We looked it up on the internet, and George is right:
According to the Wikipedia, “the final draft of the Declaration was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, although the date of its signing has long been disputed. Most historians have concluded that it was signed on Aug. 2, 1776, nearly a month after its adoption, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.”
So, Happy 2nd of August to you and your favorite firecracker!
SOME OTHER FASCINATING FOURTH FACTS: George (who is, as we know, grandson of President Grover Cleveland, our nation’s 22nd and 24th president), also queried Roy in their on-air segment:
Question: What five countries formed colonies that would later become part of the United States territory? Answer: England, France, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain.
Q: What city was the first capital of the United States? A: New York City.
Q: Who was the first president to live in the White House? A: John Adams.
Q: Who was the first president to declare war? A: James Madison.
Q: What war did this declaration begin? A: The War of 1812 against Great Britain.
Q: The song “Yankee Doodle Dandy” came from what Broadway show? A: “Little Johnny Jones,” by George M. Cohan. Originally known as “Yankee Doodle Boy.”
Q: What does macaroni mean in “Yankee Doodle Dandy?” A: To be “macaroni” was to be sophisticated, upper class and worldly. In “Yankee Doodle,” then, the British were mocking what they perceived as the Americans’ lack of class. The first verse is satirical because a doodle — a simpleton — thinks that he can be macaroni — fashionable — simply by sticking a feather in his cap.
Q: Which American president was born on July 4th? A: “Silent Cal,” Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge.
Q: Which two presidents of the United States died on July 4th of the same year? A: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Q: What is the location of the nation’s oldest Fourth of July parade? A: Bristol, R.I.
Q: What was the Statue of Liberty’s official name? A: Liberty Enlightening the World (hmmm, not Grace, Gertrude, Emma or Florence?).
Q: During World War II, where did the Declaration of Independence get stored? A: Fort Knox.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS: Today, Hog Coliseum behind the North Conway Community Center will host the second annual Battle of the Bands for the benefit of the Kevin Peare Memorial Skate Park.
Slated to perform at the event, which is set for 1-4 p.m., are One Dan Band, winner of the first Battle of the Bands held at Cranmore Mountain in 2019, as well as Unknown, the Lazy Anarchists, If You’re Down Str8 Bummin, Unforgiven and Kev and Cam.
Bands will perform three to four songs each, doing originals or covers. They will be critiqued by judges Dan Lettre, Brian Charles and Dustin Farnum, and a winner will be chosen.
Tickets are $20 per person and available on goskate4kev.com. Attendance will be limited to 200, according to the website.
Food trucks and vendors will be on site, and skateboarding demos and merchandise will be on hand provided by Red Alert, according to organizers Caren Peare of Bartlett, executive director of the Kevin Peare Memorial Skate Park Committee, and Anna Peare of Conway, assistant director.
IN OTHER MUSIC, outdoors at Tuckerman Brewing Co. in Conway, check out Shark Martin today and Junco on Sunday, both from 3-6 p.m. with the return of the Simon Crawford Band Friday, July 9, from 4-7 p.m.
More Local Drama (great name for a band, isn’t it?) is at Ledge Brewing Co. today in Intervale beginning at 6 p.m., and Doug Hazard and Jono Deveneau are there next Friday evening.
Deacon Street has Dennis and Davey on Fridays and Saturdays; American Legion Post 46 in Conway has the Echo Tones July 4, 3-6 p.m. and July 9 starting at 6 p.m.
Mike Malkin and Becca Deschenes of Rek-lis are at the Shannon Door Pub tonight and tomorrow, and Riley Parkhurst is there July 9.
Diana’s Bath Salts are at the Red Parka Pub tonight from 8-11 p.m., Greg Walsh plays Sunday 5-7 p.m. and Bobby Sheehan will play July 7 during the next “Putt with Paul” prize giveaways bash, offered Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. The electric Memphis Lightning rockabilly band returns July 9 — you won’t wanna miss this hot act, which I saw their last time in town pre-pandemic onset days!
Just over the border in Fryeburg, Maine, the Tuesday in July evening Bradley Park Concert Series live music series starts July 6 at 7 p.m. with the Smokehouse Boys (rain location: firehouse).
GARDEN STAGE SERIES: The Wildcat Inn and Tavern/Cold River Radio Show’s Garden Stage Dinner Concert Series continues with a show by Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio tonight and the Jonathan Sarty Band July 10. Guitar virtuoso Duke Robillard returns July 17. For the scoop, go to email@example.com or wildcattavern.com.
SWEET STRAWBS: Hope you had a chance ot make it to the well-attended Vaughan Community Services Strawberry Festival, held last Saturday on the grounds of the First Church of Christ Congregational in North Conway.
I especially enjoyed chatting with Howard Hatch of Albany, who oversaw the display of two of the late S. Jean Fernandez’s Woody Wagons. Howard, 81, worked for the late and legendary Verland “Swede” Ohlson and Homer Emery at the USFS’ Saco District back in the day and had all sorts of stories about fighting forest fires and the like.
One woman offered to buy the ’49 Plymouth Woody on display, but Howard noted on behalf of the Fernandez estate it wasn’t for sale.
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! We’ll be blasting you, as Major Mudd used to say when we were kids watching his TV show growing up near Boston. So, have a hot dog this patriotic weekend and celebrate being together.