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Celebrate 4th in grand style: hot-dogs, BBQ

Here we are in mid-year and the July the 4th weekend, finding ourselves in Southwest Georgia’s summertime heat, waving flags, exploding fireworks (not if you live in the city limits though), grilling the great American hot-dog and smoking barbecue.
After 240 years we are privileged to live in this great country and free to celebrate our national holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, an act that set our country free from the British Empire. Thankfully, our nation remains strong and we continue to maintain our freedom today — all due to our leaders and the military forces that defended and continue to defend our nation.
I also associate July 4th with homemade peach ice cream made by my aunts Nannine and Louise Sisson and cousin Doucette Larendon when I was growing up. Absolutely the most divine ice cream you ever tasted. It was love at first spoonful. Of course, it was hand-cranked in an old-fashioned ice cream churn and left to “rest” before serving in pale pink porcelain bowls in the shape of seashells, along with Doucette’s wafers. No one in our family can replicate the ice cream nor the wafers, a very thin crispy cookie, even though we have the recipes.
Other Fourth of July memories include spending the day at East Lake Country Club pool and getting so sunburned the year I was 16 that I still carry freckles from the experience; cookouts in our backyard with family and friends; cutting the first watermelon of the year, and always helping my older sister Frances blow out the candles on her birthday cake.
After marrying, we celebrated with young children at fireworks  displays, swim parties and cookouts at home, the beach or mountains.
In more recent years, the 4th has been a “really big” show as Ed Sullivan used to say, at Lori and Andy Shivers’ country home. Andy barbecued what appeared to be enough pork spareribs to serve the troops at Fort Benning but amazingly they were devoured before calling in the troops. This year we’ll celebrate with Episcopal barbecue pork and Mark’s ribs at our house but with a greatly reduced guest list.
However you may celebrate, have a safe and very happy and safe 4th of July!
Out and about: There was a lot of celebration going on here and afar last weekend that ranged from weddings, birthdays and high school reunions. While Hope Teasley and Nathan danced at their wedding reception at the Lee Council House, Andrew Martin Denham and his bride, Meg Barron Denham, were celebrating their marriage in Belmont, N.C. Andrew is the son of Mike and Carol Denham of Americus.
Among the guests attending the wedding from Americus were Debbie Smith, Beth and Allen Ragan, Jane and Ricky Arnold, Mary Len and Carson Walker, Kelly and Tim Faircloth, Willie and Greg Maxwell, Taylor and Reagan Barksdale, Morgan and Jimmy Whaley, Kristine and Matthew Greene (Matthew was among the groomsmen), Charlotte and Randy Everett, and Jan Hobgood and her son, Lijah Hobgood. Andrew and Meg are making their home in Cumming, where he is branch manager for the Hawks Denham mortgage team; elsewhere, Americus native Kathryn Fowler and Brent Moore repeated wedding vows at historic St. Peters Episcopal Church, Oxford, Mississippi, followed by dancing at their festive reception. Attending from Americus were her parents John and Beth Fowler, grandmother Sally Markette, her sister Jennifer Fowler, the maid of honor, aunt Anne Markette and Bill Lee of Atlanta, her aunt Faye Schaller, uncle John Vanvoorhis of Boothbay, Maine, along with Americus friends Jim and Jean Buchanan, Bob and Susan Bruns, John and Beth Carroll, Beau and Heidi Carroll, Peggy Smith and son Chad Smith. Beth said it was the first time for she and Anne to be together with their cousins in years. They are Kevin and Jolene Markette, Newnan, and Emily and Julie Vanvoorhis; meanwhile, Janet Siders was in New Jersey where she and her sister, Rita King, of East Orange, N.J., had a great time at the joint reunion of the classes of 1965-1966 of Newark’s West Side High School. Janet said it was fun seeing classmates she hasn’t seen in years at the “meet and greet” party at Newark Liberty International Airport Friday, and a dinner dance Saturday where she said they “danced our feet” off to ‘60s music; elsewhere, Dr. Alex Riccardi turned 28 and observed her birthday at a surprise dinner party hosted by her fiancé Brandon Horne at the Windsor’s Rosemary and Thyme dining room. Among the guests were her parents Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi, and Wes and Jean Wheeler, Will Krenson, Josh and Katie Tondee, Brent Carter, Jeff and Kristi Clements, Jesse and Angie Miller, Mack and Mackenzie Greene, Brad and Haylee Ward, Jeri Ann Faircloth, Caitlin Reid, Michelle Andrews and Tripp Parker; elsewhere Bill and Gay Sheppard’s grandchildren, Lacy Sheppard, 13, of Nashville, Tennessee, Jackson Sheppard, 8, of Huntsville, Alabama, and Margaret Sheppard, 7, of Lexington, Kentucky, were “on stage” last night along with 42 other children in Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Rylander Theatre. The Sheppards’ grandchildren participate annually in the Missoula productions and have been here this week rehearsing.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.