4th of July story by Mary Penn

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

This recording was created on . You can view the original file and full metadata in our digital repository.

  • Interviewer: Pei Pei Heikkinen


    [sounds in background]

    INTERVIEWER: Well hello again, this is Pei Pei Heikkinen, and I’m here talking with Mary Penn, who has been coming to the July Fourth Celebration here at Westmorland for many, many moons. I’m so glad to have the chance to talk with her. How are you doing Mary?

    NARRATOR 1: Very good, thank you, very nice here today.

    INTERVIEWER: How long have you been attending the festivities over the years?

    NARRATOR: Uh, I would say literally, 55 years.

    INTERVIEWER: Oh my goodness, wow. So what is your fondest memory?

    NARRATOR: I remember a time when I was a child, they had, at this Fourth of July Celebration, they had a stage coach ride around the area of the park, and I remember they had pony ride around an area of the park, and um, I remember they had—but always, the games were fun, and I remember they had like a softball game in the afternoons.

    INTERVIEWER: Oh, okay.

    NARRATOR: And fireworks at night.

    INTERVIEWER: Right, right. So, looking around just now, are there any changes that you see, as far as games are concerned, or activities?

    NARRATOR: Well, I think that there’s interesting things, they’ve made the cake walk all along, I see the dunk tank, and I see, the bouncy house looked new to me, and the entertainment has changed over the years, I remember.

    INTERVIEWER: What was the other entertainment that’s not here now?

    NARRATOR: Well, one that I saw--when I saw the entertainment changing, I saw that they went more international, what I would call more international music and different kinds of music, which was really nice. I just thought that was really good back in the day, and then I think what I liked [UNCLEAR]. They got real modern, they started getting more modern.

    INTERVIEWER: Nice. How about um [PAUSE]—I just lost my train of thought, I’m sorry. Have you ever volunteered for this particular event?

    NARRATOR: No, I’ve never volunteered unfortunately, I’ve mostly just uh, attended, I’ve attended, I’ve tried to get family and friends’ children to come with me to attend it because I always thought it was so fun. I always get to see somebody here, when I was a kid of course it was family, but now I’m aging up there, I will see people from my work, I always see somebody I know.

    INTERVIEWER: Nice! And what is—do you have a favorite activity today?

    NARRATOR: Uh, we’re going for the games. Right now, we’re going for, we’re going for these games. Every child seems to win something, they have fun.

    INTERVIEWER: Well I certainly hope you win big.

    NARRATOR: Oh and I also, I definitely always enjoy the parade.

    INTERVIEWER: Yeah, did you walk in the parade today?

    NARRATOR: Uh, no I did not walk in it, but I observed it, right as they were coming, right as they arrived in the park.

    INTERVIEWER: Do you have a favorite route along the parade where you can see everything?

    NARRATOR: I would say, this year—I’m really happy with it this year. When I was a child it came down Holly Avenue from [UNINTELLIGIBLE] when my brothers were like, 6 to 10 years older than me, they actually came down Westmorland Boulevard, and they did that again today, so I was very excited to see that, be happy to share that with family, and then there were some times when they came down like, Camden Road, but I think it was interesting that they came down Westmorland.

    INTERVIEWER: Nice. So is there anything else you’d like to add to share with us?

    NARRATOR: No, I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July, thank goodness for the Westmorland Park Association, they’re willing to put this on, it’s a classic.

    INTERVIEWER: Thank you so much! Have a good time!

    NARRATOR: Thanks! Yeah!