A Word to the Wise

A first-rate community celebrates the Fourth
By: Tom Rupp
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All this talk about people staying home for their vacation makes me feel like a pioneer. We’ve been doing that for years. Oh sure, we get out and away once in a long while. In the meantime the car stays close to home. It was no different last Friday for the Fourth of July. I worked at Borders first, and then came home to fire up the grill for steaks. My friend Karl gave me instructions on how to grill garlic. That was tasty fun. The real fun occurred a little later when we set up chairs in the driveway. I have a lawn chair that rocks like a rocker. As the sunlight departed the neighbors appeared. This is a yearly ritual. Bill sets up a ladder and we all pull out our hoses. I turn on the music and by nightfall the fireworks show begins, first with the small ones. The show progressed until, about an hour later, came a string of the bigger pyrotechnics. It was an evening of relaxing fun. I even waxed nostalgic and ate a watermelon wedge. I don’t particularly like watermelon but figured it was the seasonal thing to do and would help enter into the spirit of the festivities. More than that, however, was the display of community. At least 35 people mingled out there. At least 10 households, and probably more, were represented. That was the biggest display of the night. Our state is only as strong as our cities. Our cities are only as strong as our communities. And our communities are only as strong as the individuals who comprise them. Every community has its unique strengths and particular “challenges” (a.k.a. “weaknesses.”) Like a chain, the strength of the entire venture depends on the strength of each individual link. Sitting there that night among our neighbors gave me a good feeling that we live in a strong, vibrant community. It may not be perfect, but Folsom/El Dorado Hills is a great place to live. Tom Rupp lives in Folsom and can be reached at