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Archive for July 3rd, 2022

 

by Sam Juliano

July 4th was once a time of incalculable joy in Fairview!
Baby boomers regularly immersed in the priceless memories that defined their coming of age in the Borough of Fairview will doubtless count July 4th as a premium recall that as much as any time of the year exemplified the town’s community spirit. The fireworks that were staged on the Little League Field either on the evening of July 3rd or during the nocturnal invasion of July 4th proper by fire department personnel brought together athletes, Scouts, grammar and high school students, service organization officers and members, church activists, and even those who for most of the year were cloistered and reluctant to engage in social activities. The July 4th fireworks for many was the crowning event after daytime activities on the field that including pillow and relay races, games and complimentary refreshments such as hot dogs, pretzels and soft drinks.. Winners received trophies and framed acknowledgements from Borough officials or service organization leaders. While fireworks are still engineered in the area, the time is long gone when residents can look forward to July 4th as a day of frantic activity from 10 A.M. till 10 P.M. Like those of us who counted the days till the Yuletide airing of “The Wizard of Oz” on CBS, many Fairview youngsters focused their expectations on our nation’s birthday, from the moment they received their report cards, pondering the competition among their friends, and the cherry on top of the sundae, the raucous, booming pyrotechnic display that lit up Fairview’s sky and dared anyone living on 6th, 7th or 8th streets to turn in early.
The grass spaces around the field of course, were overflowing with locals, a bevy of people armed with lawn chairs, some waving sparklers and a few with a mischievous bent discussing their plans to set off “cherry bombs” on the way home from the event. Everybody knew everybody else in those days, and even the ocean of humanity that permeated every nook and cranny of the tract of land brought into Borough domain by legendary Republican Mayor Louis Battaglia in the 1950’s, didn’t diminish the ability of the locals to say hello or greet almost everyone who crossed their paths, on the way to the refreshment stand, up and down the access hill aside Our Lady of Grace, in and around Pop’s Park, the little kids’ playground overlooking the main theater or the descending path from the basketball courts. Of course the immediate locals -those who hailed from 6th, 7th, Kamena and Walker Streets- faithfully attended, and prevalent families like the Montefortes, Blasos, Foglios, Andreazzas, Rutches, Mesiscas, Ballerinis, Picinics, Booths, Mirandas, Lauras, Andrettas, Sartors, Weises were on hand, seemingly ubiquitous no matter where you walked in this gloriously congested hamlet. But the aforementioned names represent only a microcosm of the population who descended on the grounds, and through year-long face-to-face involvement at a time when social media was non-existent Fairview, by way of community and civil organizations, sports and shopping locally was truly one big family.
At the height of the boomer era -and no small coincidence- the wildly popular film version of the Broadway musical “1776”- released in late 1972, debuting at Radio City Music Hall, and for Fairviewites attuned to “philately” the mid-70s was a time to lay down some coin at the box-sized post office next to the Greek Church on Anderson Avenue for all the celebratory issues commemorating our bicentennial.
Yes, the 4th of July is what you make it, and even today those with an adventurous spirit can re-live some scene–specific joys, but the camaraderie we experienced in the 60s and 70s was a singular phenomenon. Ah, the memories, and so many tears.

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