By Jocelyn Bula: Don’t Forget The Essentials



One year for July 4th, My family and I went to Sunken Meadow State Park Beach which is located in the town of Smithtown in Suffolk County, New York. It was a long drive due to the fact that we lived in Ridgewood, Queens. My father always makes a big spiel about us leaving really early to assure us a good spot and table. He mentioned that we should not forget anything because there were no stores close by and that we weren’t going back home until the very end of the day. As soon as we got there, we began to unload. We had chairs, blankets, toys for the kids, a hammock, lots of coolers filled with beverages, and most of all, lots of food. A good portion of the food was pre- seasoned raw meat- burgers, ribs, steaks, chicken, you name it, we had it. However, we forgot the most essential part of barbecuing outdoors; we forgot to bring the coal. My dad was livid and was unsure of what to do, thankfully some really nice family posted up next to us and shared their coal with us.

How did we underestimate that we would leave such an important aspect of having a successful barbecue? Simple!  We were so concerned with getting there early enough to get a good spot that we forgot the most important thing that we needed to cook. My advice, it doesn’t matter where you are going to be this Independence Day; if you forget the fundamental elements of a successful barbecue, your Fourth of July celebration will be an epic fail.


By Zain Alam : Never trust a Wreckless Friend


So there I was on a 4th of July afternoon, sitting in the middle of Sunken Meadow Park waiting for at least a dozen of my friends to arrive. About an hour goes by and theres no sign of anyone and so I turn to my friend, David, and ask him what the deal is. Little did I know that David forgot to check what field we were supposed to be in and casually decided to guess and see what happens. And of course, we were in the wrong field waiting for a hour for our friends who were already enjoying burgers and beers without us. Lesson of the day, make sure you do not trust your wreckless friends with directions when there is BBQ and beer at stake.


By Joanne Giarrusso: It’s Always Crazy at My House



My family is crazy and inappropriate everyday, so when July 4th arrives, nothing special happens. Its a basic cookout where we make too much food and no-one eats it. Then the usual conversations occur: todays youth, family members that are a disgrace, food and the good old days. We end the night with someone getting insulted. Once someone brought their significant other to this occasion and in a sentence, one of the elders managed to severely insult and complement the person at the same time. The party usually ends with pain and awkwardness. At least the food is good.


By Scott Blickensderfer: “Harry Potter” 4th of July 


Warner Bros
Warner Bros Records

Back in the days of my reckless youth when I, like most teenagers, believed myself to be invincible, my friends and I would celebrate the Fourth of July with a certain flare for Harry Potter.

Spaced out about a hundred feet from one another, we would engage in wizardry duels, where we would fire Roman candles at each other, while shouting Latin-sounding “enchantments.”

With colorful fireballs whizzing past us, we never stopped to wonder about potential injury. We were more concerned about coming up with clever spells. No harm ever came as a result of the game, because we clearly were Hogwarts-calibre wizards.

We did have one small scare, when a Roman candle’s blast landed in the dry fields of my friend’s vineyard, but when nothing caught fire, we resumed our magic duels.


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