Who knew that there are approximately 14,000 firework displays across America each year in celebration of our Independence Day?
OK, maybe you knew that, but did you know that Congress actually signed a resolution to approve the use of pyrotechnics for our Independence Day celebrations as early as July 4, 1777? Yep, 237 years ago.
I actually wasn’t thinking about that fact last Saturday when I walked by the driveway beanbag games to our unspoken preferred seating in Kim and Duane Debaun’s front yard on the south quadrant — the perfect place for the past 20-something years to watch the Greenwood Freedom Festival fireworks.
One fleeting thought was: Did Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who helped draft the formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain, ever sit down and share some homemade ice-cream like the Debauns share every year after the firework display?
We do know that it was possible, since the first written account of ice cream consumption in the colonies was on May 19, 1744, when a Scottish colonist described: “a Dessert ... among the Rarities of which was compos’d, was some fine Ice Cream which, with the Strawberries and Milk, eat most deliciously.”
By 1782, George Washington described in his ledger: “a cream machine for ice.” Has anyone done any research to find out if this could have been one of the reasons why he was unanimously elected as our first president in 1789? Does no one else see the obvious correlation?
Let me spell it out: Ice cream machine equals unanimous election.
I told Kim and Duane that they can’t ever sell their house and move, unless they added a binding clause to the sales contract that reads: “Upon purchase of this home, I agree to open up my yard, for swarms of the Debauns’ friends and family to play beanbag, talk and watch the Greenwood Freedom Festival fireworks every summer and to spend all day churning the ice cream machine, so they can enjoy it most deliciously.”
Janet Hommel Mangas, the third of seven children, grew up on the east side of Greenwood. The Center Grove area resident and her husband are the parents of three daughters. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.