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 July 4th in Hammond
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Paddy

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2009 :  23:57:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My earliest memory of celebrating "the 4th" goes back to my preschool days. I remember my Dad taking me to see the July 4th parade along Indianapolis Boulevard in Whiting,and then visiting the Robertsdale fire station where my great-uncle Mike worked until his retirement in 1930.

The original Robertsdale fire station on Indianapolis Boulevard is long gone, but my memories remain of my visits and my Dad's stories.

My Dad was born in 1907, and he remembered visiting the Robertsdale fire station when the engine was horse-drawn. By the time that I came along, fire departments had long since replaced horse-drawn apparatus.

But to my good fortune, the fire station had not changed. A gasoline-powered fire engine stood in the bay where the old horse-drawn engine once stood, but the horse stalls in the back of the station remained. My Dad pointed out how the horses were trained to trot from their stalls into their harnesses when the fire bell rang.

This is just one of my July 4th memories in Hammond. What are yours?



duane

381 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2009 :  10:10:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, yes....4th of July.
Our family ALWAYS went to Whiting to see the parade, and then went to Whiting park for the festival/carnival. What I remember most as a young lad was watching the boxing matches that were held in an athletic field toward the back of Whiting park (not far from the train tracks). I was very impressed by the boxing for some reason. Of course, there were the carnival rides, the cotton candy, etc. We would make a day of it, and then return that evening to watch the fireworks being shot over the lake. I remember that you could also see the fireworks from the Chicago area a long way away over the lake too.
One thing that I was so fortunate to do, was to visit my folks when my girls were young, and going to Whiting Park with their grandparents (my folks) to watch the parade and later with a blanket to watch the fireworks. They got to experience a bit of what I did, along with my folks. Of course, the festival wasn't nearly what it used to be, but it was still a great time...and a trip back in time for me and my folks.
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Jim R

61 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2009 :  10:51:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My best memory is of blowing the paint off the fire hydrant in front of our house with Silver Salutes.

Harding K thru 7
Morton 8 thru 12
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Paddy

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2009 :  21:34:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by duane

Ah, yes....4th of July.
Our family ALWAYS went to Whiting to see the parade, and then went to Whiting park for the festival/carnival.
If there were other 4th of July celebrations in the Hammond area during my youth, I don't recall them. My Dad was born and raised in Robertsdale, and we continued his family's annual participation in the Whiting festivities.

My Dad's uncle Mike, who served as a captain at the Robertsdale fire station, died 10 years before I was born. But our trips to the old station and my Dad's stories about the horse-drawn steamer told me that he had visited there often and it held a special place in his heart.

I didn't settle on a career until my early 30's, after a stint in the Marines, college and graduate school. My Dad passed away before then, and did not know that I joined the fire service just as my great uncle Mike did. My memories of the old Robertsdale fire station hold a special place in my heart, too.
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duane

381 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2012 :  22:22:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Time to bump and rejuvinate this thread about your favorite Calumet Region 4th of July memories.

For our family, Whiting Park WAS the 4th of July. Afternoon parade, picnic, carnival rides in the park, live boxing, all capped off by watching the fireworks display at night and also seeing the Chicago fireworks across the water.

Come to think of it...I'm gonna pop in the DVD of Shep's Public Television movie "The Great American 4th of July" starring a young Matt Dillon as teenaged Ralphie. And not to take anything away from Darren McGavin, but the actor who played the "old man" in the 4th of July movie and a couple other PBS Ralphie movies was, in my opinion, far closer to how Shep wrote about him and his antics.

For those of you who don't have this movie - here's a link where you can watch it on the web. http://videosift.com/video/Jean-Shepherd-The-Great-American-Fourth-of-July

Edited by - duane on 07/03/2012 22:31:03
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Little Stevie

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2012 :  23:54:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ours was
having the family over for sparklers and "snakes" on the sidewalk.
Then. . . around 9 PM or so. . . we'd look towards the south and watch the fireworks from the Woodmar Country Club!
That was the extent of the MAM from the 60's! I wonder what it would have been like with today's fireworks laws in Indiana!
LS

Edited by - Little Stevie on 07/03/2012 23:54:37
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2012 :  06:23:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if it's going to look like Viet Nam all over again. I came up here for a few days and it seems like every business that closed up shop (and there are many of them) has turned into a fireworks retailer. I remember, in the past, having to drive all the way to Tennesee to get the decent stuff---and then worry all the way home if the "fireworks police" were on to me...Cj
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Little Stevie

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2012 :  10:57:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seejay2

I wonder if it's going to look like Viet Nam all over again. I came up here for a few days and it seems like every business that closed up shop (and there are many of them) has turned into a fireworks retailer. I remember, in the past, having to drive all the way to Tennesee to get the decent stuff---and then worry all the way home if the "fireworks police" were on to me...Cj



CJ
I've never been to war but tonight in NWI will seem like one with bombs bursting in air!
Happy 4th everybody!
LS
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Paddy

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2012 :  13:11:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just checked Whiting's web site. They still hold the parade, and it takes the same route to Whiting Park. What a wonderful tradition.
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HassoBenSoba

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2012 :  02:58:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, Whiting still holds on to some of its great traditions, and has invented some new ones (like Pierogi Fest).
The 4th of July Parade is one of the coolest things in da' Region. (There's a pic of my Uncle Bob at the
1960 Whiting parade posted on "Magoun Ave", page 8).

I was supposed to march with a group in this morning's parade, but the fact that I didn't knock off working
'til the sun was coming up caused me to cancel.

Steve--yeah, sparklers 'n snakes on the sidewalk; then we'd get in the car and park down at the south end
of Southeastern Ave (by the tracks) and watch the firewworks from the country club.

Larry
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