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… only different.

Many many years ago … fresh off my divorce … I was often to be found taking off by myself in search of new adventures … new places … new people.

That one time … on July 3rd … I found myself talking to some friends at about 5 in the afternoon. I was saying how I had always wanted to go to Boston. On the Fourth Of July. To see the Boston Pops do the concert on the Esplanade there.

Except my car would surely never get me there.

So … my friends being my friends … one of them handed me the keys to her Capri convertible and said “Have a nice time”.

Not finding anyone else willing to drive ten plus hours at the drop of a hat, I jumped in the car at 7PM and drove through the night … alone … without non-gas related stops … up to Boston.

I pulled into a gathering I had been told about just outside the city, introduced myself, and asked for directions and suggestions about the concert. A few minutes later, I checked into an inexpensive hotel and made my way to the Esplanade.

On no sleep. I was younger then.

To say that day was magical would be an understatement. I saw John Williams direct the Boston Pops. I was interviewed by one of the Boston newspapers because I had driven the distance for my first concert … alone … at the drop of a hat.

I have no idea if the story ever got into the paper … or, for that matter, which paper it was.  There were chimes and cannons and bells pealing from the tower of the Old North Church. There were flags and cameras and bright lights and lots of very nice people.

There were folks who invited me to their yacht in the Charles River. It is this last memory that made me think of that time so long ago just now. The folks then had assembled off the shore of the esplanade in the river … to hear the concert … to see the fireworks display after.

They of course enjoyed it for free, just as the folks on the Esplanade enjoyed it for free. So flash forward to this Fourth of July. Here I sit on the porch of the Hotel I am spending far too much time at this summer.

I sitting on the comfy chair I took the picture of the other week.

Several others down the porch at different points. Laughing. Drinking. Enjoying. Nice people here too.

And the yachts. Except here it isn’t really yachts. Its more like catamarands and speedboats … assembled in the lake around the Hotel here.

There is a concert being held over to my left tonight … and tomorrow … and tomorrow night … and Saturday … and Sunday. Big time in the old town here. And there are folks arriving with tickets.

Then there are the rest of us. Hotel Guests, folks on the lawn … and folks out in the water.

Freedom. Fourth of July. Fabulous.

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