Your assignment for Friday

I am going to cut right to the chase here and make out a list of things you should do come July Fourth. No back talk and no hemming and hawing. You just need to do this stuff:

1. Fly the flag. Fly it properly. And for Pete's sake at least stand when the colors go by at the parade or at the fireworks show. Remove your hat if you are wearing one. Put your hand over your heart.

2. Buy a button. Better yet buy two and give one to a stranger or to a neighbor kid. If you haven't yet written your check to the Fourth Celebration Society, do it now. They went to all this trouble to carry on a great tradition just for you and your family. Let them know you appreciate it.

3. Have fun.

4. Be appropriate with your fireworks. Obey the ordinance about the days and hours for shooting them. Do it on private property, not in the streets, parks, or business district.

5. Go to all the events . . . and have fun! Do your Christmas gag-gift shopping at the flea market. See the car show. Enjoy the parade and don't whine if you get wet . . . I promise, you'll dry! Be a player in the horseshoe tournament. Hang out at the park and enjoy it. It is a gorgeous place.

6. Practice your "queen wave," build a float, and be in the parade. Create a family float, a neighborhood float, or have a block party on a float. (There are cash prizes!) Help a child decorate a bike or a wagon. There are prizes for that too. Let's see that wave.

7. Smile for the camera. Janet Post, our newspaper photographer will be out taking pictures that will become a photo record of what happened at the 87th annual event in 2008. A big grin would be most appropriate (as if you are having fun!)

8. Pick up after yourself. Clean up your mess. This is important. Don't leave your galloping crud at the park, on the street, in the gutters, downtown, anywhere. Be responsible.

9. Take a deep breath and be patient. You aren't going anywhere anyway; you are already here. Thank the volunteers you see. They are the reason this event happens for you year after year.

10. HAVE FUN!!