Sunday July 5th. The 239th Independence Day Celebration.

Written by Jack van Ommen on July 5th, 2015

I just missed the American women win their world soccer championship game. I was going to see it at 7 p.m. but that turned out to be 7 p.m. Toronto time. Anyway another celebration.

I rafted up with about 25 Gig Harbor Yacht Club boats in Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island. Just like last year. The fireworks are put on by one local residents, with very deep pockets. Reportedly, about $400,000.  It is absolutely first class. I think this years’s theme was flowers. It is amazing what they can do now to paint these realistic pictures in the sky with pyrotechnics.

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There are a few privileges in becoming a Dinosaur, depending on your memory, you discover that you have been there, done that, and after 10 minutes you discover that you have a number of common friends. That is what happened last night talking to John Mulligan, a GHYC member, I discovered that we have a common friend whose trail I had lost. He had Nick’s phone number and I just got through talking to him again. In the early eighties Nick and his wife Ginny were members of my parish in Tacoma. I was married for the second time in a civil procedure, technically this excluded me from the church sacraments. I knew that I had to live on the edges and could not expect acceptance. But this did not keep Ginny from organizing a baby shower for Seth, my youngest son. Something I will never forget. Then Ginny, far too young, lost her battle with cancer,  two days before she joined the Angels Choir, I wrote a letter to her. When I heard of her passing away I was devastated that I had not written her earlier. But then, at the door at St.Patrick Church in Tacoma, after the vigil service for her, Nick said: “Jack, Ginny appreciated the note you wrote to her.” From then on, I had learned my lesson do not put off to tomorrow, what should be done today.

I left at sunrise to get back to Gig Harbor for my “habitual” mass attendance. I was disappointed that we did not sing a traditional patriotic hymn. Not sure why. I will ask.

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