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Monday, July 6, 2009

The Bicentennial Revisited - Have A Happy 4th!

The 4th of July is a very special holiday for many Americans. It means family picnics, fireworks, displaying the American Flag, and remembering all that our forefathers endured to make us the free nation that we remain to this day. It's clearly a time to count our blessings!

The July 4th of our nation's Bicentennial holds a special place in my memory. Jackie and I were privileged to celebrate it right here in New Gretna. We had moved to 21 North Maple Avenue, across the street from the Presbyterian Church, just a few short years before. We didn't know what kind of celebration to expect from our new community, but looked forward to the event with great expectations. We were not disappointed.

The centerpiece of New Gretna's Bicentennial Celebration was a community parade down Rt. 9 and up North Maple Avenue to the school and the church where formal ceremonies was held. I remember Mayor Floyd West, dressed as George Washington, reading a Bicentennial Proclamation.

The thing that I remember most; however, was that mostly everyone in the community marched in the parade. There were almost no spectators. Someone had taken the time and trouble to make hats out of newspapers, and we all wore them proudly. No glitzy, Madison Avenue decorations here in New Gretna. Just down home, small town American values. I remembered looking at Jackie wearing her paper hat and thinking, "Yes, we've finally found our home!"

Back in the mid 1970's there were no digital cameras and people didn't take many photos. I was fortunate to get the black and white photos from Betty West and the colored photos from slides taken by Naomi Maurer. I though that I would share them with you, as a celebration of this year's 4th of July. I hope you enjoy them, and that they bring back fond memories of a simpler time.

If you see someone in a photo that you would like to identifiy and/or make a comment about, drop us a line here at the Blog. I'll number the photos to make them easier to reference.

Pete S





#5 - Notice the newspaper hats!










#15 - Kindergarten

#16 - First Grade

#17 - Second Grade

#18 - Third Grade

#19 - Fourth Grade

#20 - Fifth Grade

#21 - Sixth Grade




  1. #7 Is that Grace Forgach wearing a black blouse holding the flag.
    #8 Betty & Floyd West

    Good picures, great parade!!
    Phyllis Briggs

  2. Phyllis,

    You iz right on all accounts. Joe Forgach is holding the flag on the left in #7 with Rich and Nikki Bethea standing behind the flag.

    Can you tell me what photo has both Almira Steele and Marian Broome marching? They were two dear, old friends that I sorely miss.

    Pete S