Lionel had just heard the news. The HORRIBLE news! The Independence Day ceremonies had been cancelled in Larrystown! Apparently, no one was feeling very patriotic this year. Everyone had other things to do and couldn’t be bothered with a parade or silly fireworks. Lionel was crushed. He loved the 4th of July-the sparklers, flags, fireworks, especially the fireworks!
“This can’t happen! There must be something that I can do. What if I go to every person, every doorstep and ask all the folks to sign a letter asking to have the celebration after all. I’ll take it to the Mayor. He can’t say no.” Lionel said to himself.
After changing into his red, white, and blue T-shirt, he wrote “People who want to see 4th of July Fireworks” in marker on the front of his notebook. Armed with his notebook in one hand and his marker in the other, Lionel set off to his first house.
* * *
After a few hours and even fewer signatures, Lionel was feeling a little down. He trudged along staring down at his shoe tops, barely even noticing the crowd of kids that were following him. Richie, Zack, Tad, Willy, and even Lionel’s big brother Feeney had been following Lionel, shaking their heads and laughing at him. It seemed they couldn’t believe that he was silly enough to walk door to door.
Lionel came to a stop, and found himself standing right in front of Mrs. Weathersham’s house. Mrs. Weathersham was a widow and the subject of many scary rumors. It had even been said that she had a two-tailed dog. Every kid in town avoided even walking by her house. Sweat formed on Lionel’s forehead, as much from his nerves as from the heat. The kids watched in horror; No way would Lionel have the courage to go knock on Mrs. Weathersham’s door!
“What the heck. Everyone else has said no, what have I got to lose? All the kids are laughing at me anyway. Here I go.” Lionel muttered to himself.
He walked up to the front door and knocked two times. The kids all watched expectantly. After only a few seconds, he decided he had waited long enough. He started to turn away when he heard the door open. He turned back towards the door and there she stood. Mrs. Weathersham!
The kids held their breath, certain she would pull Lionel into the house and that he would never be heard from again. Then they saw Lionel say something to her, but her face remained unchanged. He was DOOMED!
Out of nowhere, a smile crept across Mrs. Weathersham’s face and she reached for the marker. She signed her name, returned the marker, leaned down and gave Lionel a kiss right on his forehead before turning around and heading inside. The door closed. The kids were stunned. Even Feeney was speechless as Lionel walked towards the group.
“What did she say?” asked Tad.
“She thanked me for trying to keep the Independence Day spirit alive. Her husband was killed in the war a long time ago, along with lots of others. They died so that we can be free today. Lots of people have sacrificed and have died, and we need to always remember them and celebrate our freedom, ‘cause it wasn’t free. That’s what she said.”
The kids were in awe of Lionel although they wouldn’t say it. Not one of them had the courage to do what Lionel had done. For the briefest of moments, they all respected him.
“Can we help you get signatures, so that everyone remembers why we’re free?” asked Tad’s buddy Willy.
Lionel gladly accepted their help and they all headed off to other houses in search of signatures.
* * *
Lionel sat on a blanket as the last hint of daylight left the sky. He finished the last sip of his cherry soda and laid down flat on his back, looking up into the sky as the first firework raced upwards and exploded red, white and blue. He smiled and said to himself, “GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I hope you and your family have wonderful Independence Day. If you’d like to learn more about my Lionel books, feel free to click on the image below to head on over to my Amazon author page, or if you want to keep up with news, exclusive giveaways, new releases you can sign up for my monthly newsletter here. Don’t forget to leave me a comment. What are you doing for this 4th of July?