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Spokane versus Philadelphia on the 4th of July

Here is one difference between Spokane and my other home town, Philadelphia.

On the 4th of July, everybody GOES to Philadelphia. The city is, after all, the seat of Independence: "We the people ..." That was written a bus ride away from my first apartment.

Never mind that I lived in Philadelphia five years before bothering to visit the Liberty Bell. The point is, all that 1776 stuff was just a bus ride away. My first job out of college was a 5 minute walk from the Bell.

It used to blow me away that tourists actually came to Philadelphia... ("Where are you from?" "Oh, we're from Tennesseeeeee." And I would think: Good grief what are they doing here ...not humid enough in Nashville? That sort of thing).

But come they did. And come and come.

And now I appreciate the difference, because ...

... On the 4th of July, everybody LEAVES Spokane.

It happens a day or two before. You're minding your own business, checking off your to-do list. And suddenly it dawns on you: where is everybody?

It's not like they've declared a holiday at the office. It's just taken for granted that, a day before, you slip away.


Nobody gives a hoot. In fact, it's the cultural thing to do. Go fishing. Go boating. Go golfing. Go camping.

Go to Coeur d'Alene.

If you're in the office at 3pm on the 3rd, for example, you feel like you're one dedicated guy. At least a lonely one. What's the matter with you?

Jeremy and Ivy came up yesterday from Pullman (that would be a tiny town 70 miles south of here -- nothing much going on there either). They are spending a day with us before, ahem, GOING TO THE LAKE.

After dinner we took a walk.

And nobody was around.


Acts 17.24-26 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.


Daniel Leslie Peterson July 3, 2009 at 11:03 AM  

Well, just to break the tradition, Debbie and I are coming today to the very downtown heart of Spokane, Washington, to spend the night (and thereby burn up some free night hotel points). To prevent any party crashing--although it sounds like the danger is minimal--I'm not saying exactly where we'll be!

[By the way, with this post your usual meaningful depth seems to be slipping a bit toward the shallows; are you trying too hard, taking the easy route, or is it just the holiday?]

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