A short story recorded by Mike Kass at the 75th anniversary of the Westmorland Neighborhood 4th of July celebration.
4th of July story by Mike Kass
[START OF RECORDING]
Interviewer: Hi, it's the Fourth of July celebration, here at Westmorland Park. Umm, I'm sitting here with Mike. Who's been a longtime neighbor, and bought a house many, many, many, many blue moons ago.
Narrator: At the millennium
Interviewer: At the millennium, woo! So Mike, tell us about your experience here, with the Fourth of July celebration, having become a neighbor at the millennium.
Narrator: Ummm, we've done the bike parade now for sixteen years straight, and umm, it's, umm, [PAUSE] just umm an amazing, old time umm day at the park with, with neighbors, and um, and it's surprising how calm and festive it is at the same time.
Interviewer: How has the park changed throughout all this time?
Narrator: Not much, I mean, I remember way, way back when they used to do fireworks here, and then I think there was a tragedy that caused that to end. And, but as far as my best memories of Westmorland Park it's, it has to be winter, um, over at the hockey rink. So, now that the neighborhood association has taken over the, the maintenance of that ice, it's been very high quality ice and umm great hockey games. Just family pickup hockey games been played over there in the evening and very good sportsmanship and just all ages playing together which is really, umm uhh, I, just a real joyful thing to do in the winter when you're feeling like you need some exercise.
Interviewer: Yea, I'll bet. So, uhh with the Fourth of July celebration. How about with the activities, have they changed over time?
Narrator: Well, we always do the cake walk, umm, and then uh other ones, the kids do, I know they've done frisbee, basketball, soccer, umm, beanbag toss...
Interviewer: I noticed that today that there's a petting zoo-
Narrator: That's a first
Interviewer: Are there other--
Narrator: I've never seen that before, but, umm, it's nice to see that, yea, yea
Interviewer: Have you ever volunteered?
Narrator: I have not, no, we've got lots of kids, so just keeping track of them has been about what we can do. Our neighbor is a big volunteer here, Jack Steinberg, who, um, does volunteering for all of us really.
Interviewer: It's great to have such awesome neighbors
Narrator: Oh yes, yea, yea
Interviewer: So, is there any favorite activities, um, during the celebration that carries over year after year? Any great memories--
Narrator: Well, I, they used to--
Interviewer: Any particular one that sticks out?
Narrator: Well, the one that they used to do it--it's a punt, pass, and kick thing and they don't do that one anymore but I see they replaced it with the sack races, heritage races over on the hockey rink area.
Interviewer: Tell us about the [punt pass the kid], I want to do that too.
Narrator: The punt, the punt, pass, and kick it was--
Interviewer: Oh, punt, pass, and kick [LAUGHTER]
Narrator: That was, that was, yea, yup, yea. That, that was a foot
Interviewer: Kid swap
Narrator: A football thing, where you'd pass the ball, and then they'd measure how far you went, and then you'd kick it, and then you'd punt it. Yea, so.
Interviewer: Awesome, awesome.
Interviewer: Well I'm glad it was a punt, pass, and kick.
Narrator: Yea there--
Interviewer: And not what I described
Narrator: Right, exactly, yea
Interviewer: Woohoo! I'm a great interviewer
Interviewer: Sooo, so, so, what do you think? How's it going today?
Narrator: Well, it seems like a great turnout, not quite as hot as usual. Umm, the three beers is very generous and, and appreciated, umm. I heard the story of one of the kegs was stolen on Thursday night which was surprising and disappointing in this neighborhood that someone went over there and cut the lock and ran off with a keg, but, umm, I'm sure they'll, that's, ya know, there's still, they still have beer for the rest of us so that's, that's ya know, ok.
Interviewer: Sounds great. So anything else that you'd like to share or add to this festivity?
Narrator: Ummm, well I like now they got the dunk tank, tank back, and that's a good one. And umm, we just have to wait for the right people to get on there before we start throwing.
Interviewer: Anyone in particular?
Narrator: Well, I'm trying, I'm trying to talk my wife into.
Interviewer: All right, good luck
Narrator: Ok, thank you!
Interviewer: She is a teacher. [LAUGHTER]
Narrator: That's right, I, I know there's a lot of, uh, frustrated students out here that start spending their tickets.
Narrator: Could be a fun--good fundraiser.
Interviewer: I bet you're the one selling those tickets, huh?
Narrator: I, I, yea, yup. Hand me that megaphone.
Interviewer: Thank you so much
Narrator: You're welcome.
Interviewer: Have a great day!
Narrator: All right, thanks now.
[END OF RECORDING]