4th of July story by Kathy McAleese

A short story recorded by Kathy McAleese at the 75th anniversary of the Westmorland Neighborhood 4th of July celebration.

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    Interviewer: Alright… Hello it’s July 4 Celebration at Westmorland Park and I’m talking with Kathy MacAleese who has been a long-time neighbor and a fantastic teacher at the Madison Waldorf Schooolllll [Narrator Chuckles]. Hi Kathy!

    Narrator: [Chuckes] Hello Pei Pei.

    Interviewer: How are you?

    Narrator: Happy 4th!

    Interviewer: [Chuckles} Happy 4th.

    Narrator: [Laughing] I’m good!

    Interviewer: Well… Woo, so! Welcome! And thank you for having me interview you.

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: Well I’m happy to do it.

    Interviewer: Yeah! So… How long have you been coming to the 4th of July celebration?

    Narrator [Pause]: Pretty… much nearly every year since I moved to the Westmorland neighborhood…

    Interviewer [Interjecting]: And when was that?

    Narrator [Continuing previous sentence]: Um that was... Oh gosh… Ummm at least a decade ago. [Makes a noise indicating she believes her summary is correct] Uh-huh.

    Interviewer: And what do you think—has anything changed or… remained much the same?

    Narrator: Well it’s certainly—there’s certainly more people here. More… more games and events and a petting zoo… Umm… Yes, it’s new and expanded, new parade route that practically went right by my house today… Um… It’s—it’s great. Yeah.

    Interviewer: Anddd…

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: I love it every year though.

    Interviewer [Continuing]: And what have you been doing today during this festivity?

    Narrator: Umm today? Umm I watched the parade and uh… have been doing a lot of socializing and we… uhmm… Mike and I and Thomas did the cakewalk. And we, we, Mike and I sat on either side of a woman, named Mary, who had already won two cakes, and was trying for a third. And I was ten and Mike was eight and she was nine and guess who won the cake? [Laughs]

    Interviewer: Lemme see….

    Narrator: We figured it just wasn’t our day when Mary won her third cake.

    Interviewer: Wow!

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: Yeah…

    Interviewer: Does she wanna share? [Looks at Narrator] No?

    Narrator: She said, actually, she was going home. [Laughs]

    Interviewer [Over each other]: With her three cakes!

    Narrator: [Over each other; moderately indecipherable]: She just—to enjoy her cakes! [Laughing] And now I’m having uh… uh... a free beer!

    Interviewer: Alright so other…

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: Which is a new adventure.

    Interviewer: Other than the cakewalk today. Now in the past, what are some other, maybe a favorite activit[y] from the past celebrations?

    Narrator [Thinking]: Ohhhhhh…. Let’s see… Uhm… I don’t do a lot here, I mostly… mostly socialize. There’s often families from the school here that I talk with, and our neighbors and friends and…catch up with some people that I sometimes only see once a year down here at the Westmorland Park. So…

    Interviewer [In the background]: Oh yeah.

    Narrator [Continuing]: I don’t—I’d—otherwise I don’t do…a whole lot besides the cakewalk.

    Interviewing: Yeah…yeah, and it—

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: My, my son did the—the dunk tank and he was the first—he reportedly was the first to [makes clicking noise] dunk the…the dunk-ee…

    Interviewer [Laughs]: OK.

    Narrator [Continuing]: Today… [Sighs] Uhm…

    Interviewer: [Indecipherable]

    Narrator [Continuing]: Listened to the music, we came down last night for a little bit and listened to the…the—

    Interviewer [Cutting in]: The band?

    Narrator [Continuing at the same time]: Jazz music.

    Interviewer: How was that?

    Narrator: It was great! Yeah, it was very good.

    Interviewer: Was there a particular piece that you really enjoyed?

    Narrator: Umm… I’m trying to think of the name of it—it is um—“Weatherly Port,” maybe? Something like that?

    Interviewer: Ok…Ok…

    Narrator: Yeah…Wow…

    Interviewer: So, what do you plan on doing um—a little bit further down the road here—

    Narrator [Cutting her off]: Today?

    Interviewing [Continuing]: anything else you want to participate in or maybe…volunteer to do? [Narrator laughs]. There’s still time!

    Narrator [Laughing]: There’ still time to volunteer. Ummm…I don’t know that I'll do that today. [Laughs] I’m in a non-volunteer mode—I’m in that mode a lot [Interviewer laughs]. We’re…I probably will just wander around and find Thomas. I, I might go through the petting zoo with him…um if he’s game. And then we’re going home to have a, a cookout with uh—some of my boys…And um…then we’ll go see the Monona fireworks.

    Interviewer: Sounds great! Thank you so much for your time.

    Narrator: You’re welcome.

    Interviewer: Have a great day!

    Narrator: Thank you Pei Pei!