Albert Lea sure can celebrate the Fourth of July

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2006

Scott Schmeltzer, Exit from Tales 22

The Fourth of July and sesquicentennial events over the last week provided me with so many different thoughts and memories about freedom.

Freedom is not free and we all need to remember to say thank you to all the men and women who have fought and are still fighting to maintain our freedom.

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I want to say thank you to all of our veterans and current military personnel that made it possible for me to watch the following special moments that touched my heart and made me think about why our country is so great.

– How adorable Austin and Alex Dulitz as well as Jacob Thompson looked dressed up in the 1860 baseball uniforms as the bat boys for the Roosters vs. Albert Lea throwback baseball game on Saturday.

– Watching the children at the magic show in Edgewater Park and hearing the laughter that is associated with such good, clean fun.

– Seeing the commitment of all of the volunteers that wanted to make these events special for everyone to enjoy.

– Listening to a great orator &8220;Sir fines a lot&8221; the umpire at the Old Time Roosters Baseball game speaking to the crowd about the old rules of the game. This team from Rochester was both fun and informative.

– Watching as Kellen Kaasa cheered in the front of the stage during the Trent Tomlinson concert.

– The kids in the dunk tank at Edgewater Park and the fun they were having getting dunked. If someone would miss, they would say &8220;That’s OK, just go and push the button,&8221; and down they would go.

– All the people getting specific spots ready for the parade two days prior.

– Seeing everyone waving the American flag at the parade.

– Watching Andy Woitas play football with Trent Tomlinson’s band.

– Watching as the kids smiled and waved at the parade.

– The annual scrambling for candy thrown from the floats.

– Watching the Bayside skiers &8220;Scooby-Doo & the Curse of the Ghost Pirate&8221; show and seeing the reaction of all the kids when Scooby arrived.

– The Mayberry float sure brought you back to simpler times.

– The commitment of the Bayside Skiers to putting on such a great show for everyone.

– Seeing all the family get togethers that are every year. Family is very important, and we need to see them as often as we can.

– Taking part in the standing ovation of our veterans during the parade.

When these heroes would come by, it was touching to see everyone just stand, take off their hats and applaud both them and the job that they had to do for our country.

– The fireworks. Wow! What a grand display Albert Lea put on for this Fourth of July!

– And finally to Vi, a wonderful lady who I met on the Pelican Breeze, who makes kolache (a Czech pastry that you can add different fruits to.) Thanks for being such an avid reader and friend to longtime Tribune writer Love Cruikshank.

(Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.)