In preparing for the big day, I replaced the usual Serenissima flag on my bow with a small "stars and stripes" - tucked neatly in a brass canon.
On the day before our nation's Independence Day, I wasn't the only one making preparations. Everywhere I rowed there were folks out on boats or in their yards having parties.
In addition to singing for my passengers, I found myself singing for people on shore, and getting serenaded by a few as well (although rarely on key).
In Newport Beach, things get totally crazy on the 4th.
They seem to lose all sense of reason and go totally nuts.
This afternoon it was clear to me that many people were already drinking themselves into shape for the festivities.
I could rattle off a list of sardonic observations and opinions about these folks. And from the many years I've spent on the water during the 4th, they would all be accurate. But the truth is that many years ago I was one of those crazy people who take their livers out on the highway and try to peg the accellerator.
We are big on freedom in this country:
freedom to worship, speak, and act as we please.
So the folks out there getting crazy are just exercising some of their freedoms.
As I write this, there are a bunch of people in my neighborhood "exercising their freedom" to blow up fireworks (and probably other things too).
I hope they don't set my roof on fire.
The 4th of July is coming whether we like it or not.
Might as well enjoy the ride.