One day my sister found a strange bundle on her driveway upon returning home. It lay there in a filthy, crumpled and mysterious heap. She edged around it, in case there was glass or metal inside. Then she parked and walked back slowly, worried about the threat of a trapped or injured animal. The mound was silent, so she came closer. Bending over, she saw the iconic red, white, blue pattern and realized what it was. There had been a violent windstorm, a cyclone almost, and she guessed it tore from someone’s pole and then dropped like a random crab from a bird's beak onto her property. She picked it up and wondered which house, which family might be missing a flag. It was filthy and frayed, which created new problems. What were the laws of display and discard, she wondered. What were the rules of decorum? She canvassed the neighborhood but didn't turn up any empty flagpoles. The easiest thing was to stow it in the garage, so she did. Months went by and she forgot all about it. Then the Fourth of July approached. The dirty flag began to tug at her conscience. She decided to give it a try in her washing machine. Surprisingly, It came out fairly well renewed. Its tears and holes receded in its newfound glory. It deserved a second chance. She hung it up in front of her house. It was her flag now.
Aspenites, apparently, don't need snow to ski. They just strap themselves in their skis to the rack on their car. But at least they get to hold poles. This Aspen rooftop skier is certainly telemarking his independence (From Britain? From winter?) in the town's annual July 4th parade. Or perhaps he's a dog lover making a sly homage to Mitt Romney's Irish Setter, Seamus? Whatever you think, it's little feats of homegrown ingenuity like roof-rack skiing that lead everybody to love a parade. I took this photo last year, but it stayed on my mind. This year I went to the beach. I wasn't about to follow in this guy's shoes.