I love the Fourth of July. Always have and could share with you numerous experiences on that special day that combined to kindle that love. Of them all, one continues to stand out. It was in 1954 when I was eleven. The day began with one of mom’s special holiday breakfasts followed by meeting up with the Furnace Street Gang (in the good sense of the word). We hightailed it up to the corner of Main and Ann Streets, the best place to watch the parade. I always loved the Little Falls Military Band, its colorful wool uniforms (that’s right-wool), and martial music, especially the trumpets. I had just begun private lessons on my own horn. Following the parade, we tore butts up to Western Park for fresh buttered popcorn and the annual program-emceed by the iconic man in the sport coat and bow tie-Clarence Hotaling.