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New Meaning to ‘Melting Pot’

July 5, 2011

Leaving the Chicago suburbs at 1:30pm on America’s birthday, I resigned myself to the fact that my 8 hour drive would cause me to miss the majority of Nashville’s fireworks show.  Turns out, I was wrong.

Somehow, I managed to make good enough time to arrive in town about 45 minutes earlier than anticipated.  I called up a friend and we met to sit on the grass on the side of I-24 to view the fireworks extravaganza.  Parking was hard to come by, so I parked about five blocks away and speed walked through neighborhoods of fancy Victorian-style homes next to areas of cookie cutter brick government-subsidized housing.  Firecrackers intermittently launched in every direction.

As we sat, cars whizzing by on the interstate, the fireworks began.  Behind us, a group of about a dozen young children screamed, clapped, and giggled at the booming display.  A young family with a child cuddled and took pictures in front of us.  A woman clad in only a bikini top and denim mini-skirt lounged next to them.  Two fathers with their kindergarten-aged children ambled along the street drinking from paper sacks.  A family clothed in their traditional ethnic dress spoke in their native language as they climbed down the hill to find themselves the perfect viewing spot.  This was a true mix of what Nashville has to offer.  This was one of the few times all of these people would be gathered within feet of each other for a shared experience.

The show was spectacular, don’t get me wrong. But I would argue that the most spectacular part of all this was the gathering of Americans there on the grassy spot off the exit ramp.  I would love nothing more than to have that exact experience again.

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