I miss celebrating Independence Day in Modesto. Each year, we were excited about watching the parade. The night before, Dad and a friend would park one of their pickups along 10th street to reserve a spot to view the parade. Early the next morning, the two families would arrive in another vehicle, park as close as possible, and then we would unload and haul folding chairs and ice chests to the waiting truck.
Regardless of when we arrived, it was always hot. The temperature would reach 100° and continue to climb, but we kids ignored that. We were too excited about the parade. We wanted to wave at the people on the floats, hear the bands and maybe pet the horses. Mom was a not a fan of the heat and to please her, Dad rigged a shade awning over the top of the open truck bed. It successfully created an illusion of cool rather than a reality, but Mom appreciated his efforts.
After the parade, family and friends would gather for food and fun to last until the lights went out at Del Webb Field and fireworks lit the sky. Each 4th of July, I remember those wonderful low cost, but cherished celebrations and wish I was there again.