Mandan News

Celebrating the Fourth

Layout 1 (Page 1)Either of my loyal readers might be anxiously awaiting my July 4, 2014, report, so here goes. It all seemed to start on Wednesday, but I’ll skip to Thursday before reminding you that the Fourth took place on a Friday this year.

First off, the RAT Pack (Retired At Tschida group, that meets from 5 to 6:30 p.m., from Sunday to Thursday, at various undisclosed locations) had to shorten our week’s agenda because all of us had impending guests arriving on Thursday.

Thursday came, the weather was awesome and the tribes began to gather, except for mine. After spending a few days out here with Grandpa Dan, my seven year old grandson Tristan went to town, with Uncle Ben, to attend Mandan’s parade, and I was assigned to show up at Ron’s by 9 a.m. to help construct the Rat Pack’s entry into the Lake Tschida’s fourth annual, Fourth of July parade.

Thanks to Bert’s great mind and deep pocketbook, our attire (safety green socks, safety green gloves, safety green T-shirts, black shorts) was issued. Ron set to putting the float together (a huge rat trap), and the rest of us stood around to advise him.

Friday began with a beautiful cool sun filled morning. While lining up for the parade in Skip’s bay, we were notified that Mandan had to cancel their parade, so we were elated to discover that the crowd attending our parade would far exceed Mandan’s.

The parade out here was wonderful; we had a full band (flutes, cymbals, drums, trumpets, clarinets, trombones,) that won their category’s competition. We had antique cars, pirate ships, dragon wagons, tractors, kazoos and smiles all around.

The parade passed, the Rat Pack took third place, and all our tribal members who had planned to spend the day in town decided to head to Lake Tschida because all of their community obligations were stormed out.

The evening was perfect, so we loaded into pontoons to check out the fireworks. Rumor had it that Bert’s bay was the place to anchor, so that’s what we did. By dark, one boom led to thousands of others. In short order, booms, flashes, shrieking whistles and such filled every shoreline along Lake Tschida.

We drifted around Bert’s and watched them blow holes in the sky and fill their bay with smoke for over an hour. When it ended, I had to admit that I really enjoyed watching someone else’s money go up in smoke.

Along came Saturday, temps in the 90’s, humid, very little wind … a perfect lake day. Most everyone out here spent most of the day either in the lake or on the water attempting to offset the heat.
As the day wore on, an ominously dark cloud formed in the west and went rather unnoticed until it was too late. The cloud swiftly moved over the lake, and dumped tennis ball sized hail on us. Our tribe was safely nestled in our cabin and garage while many others were caught out in their boats, tents, campers and such. The damage around the lake varied from dented vehicles to a couple of head injuries.

We thought the storm had passed, so we began looking for damage when another wave of hail dumped on us. The storm finally passed, the grandkids went out and collected tennis ball sized hailstones and we all felt pretty lucky.

After all the excitement, Grandpa Dan just went to bed while the rest of the tribe torched up a campfire and the remaining fireworks, so he has no recollection of what happened from there.
So that’s this year’s report, and here’s hoping that your holiday was filled with more smiles than frowns.