Broadcast Blog: The 4th is For Family
In Cincinnati, The Fourth is a big, big holiday. I’d say there are probably about 15 places to go and watch pretty good fireworks displays in the city and suburbs.
I grew up in the suburb of Cincy called Mason, and Mason has gone from being a small town suburb with Proctor & Gamble and a great school district to one of the biggest and fastest growing small cities in America.
Well when I was a kid, we’d typically go to a great fireworks display in a suburb over called Blue Ash. It was a great family friendly festival put on and the City of Blue Ash put a decent amount of money into the show and my family and I always had a great time.
However, years before that point, Mason was really a small town and there wasn’t a lot of business development, which meant it was darker there (much like it’s dark driving the CA-99!!). From my neighborhood, I could see about four different displays depending on which area of town you were looking at. It was truly awesome.
But then I got older, and as with everything that is cool when you are 2-12, I was too old and too cool for fireworks and lost interest. Looking back, I’m not sure why…I mean stereotypical man loves things that blow up and loves fire right?
I’ve really learned now that I’m older to hold on to those things that bring you closer to your youth and closer to your family. This past couple months has been tough for my brothers and sisters of Stockton, losing very important family members to Valhalla, and it really made me realize something.
If you are 13-25, read this part because I’m going to impart some wisdom of my short years on to you…
You may not realize it yet, but your parents are far cooler than you think. They may have to be a parent first and friend second to you now, but just remember that they do and say things to make you a better person. Spend time with your family, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles…because they won’t be around forever.
When I was younger my family would get together and I’d stay up in my room and play video games without barely a hello. As I got older, it became more about hanging out with my friends, which of course caused me to spend even less time with my family.
I remember one time in Cincinnati we had this bad wind storm that knocked out power to most of the city for days. As soon as I found out that my friends had power I left my parents in the dark so fast, I’m pretty sure I left skid marks on the carpet. They sat in candlelight, listening to the radio, sharing a few drinks, telling a few stories, and playing a few board games while I watched Monday Night Football and played video games with my friends.
Then as I got even older, I began to realize something, maybe it was maturity, maybe I finally hit that age where my parents were back to being cool again, I’m not sure, but once I hit that spot in my life, I couldn’t believe what a selfish jerk I’d been for years.
This of course ties in with something I learned in Las Vegas during the ECHL League meetings. Some of us go to sporting events and concerts and vacations with our family, but we all go for the shared purpose of memorable experiences.
I’ve done all of the above with my family, especially my father. I’ve been to the Hall of Fame (football) game with him a few years back when the Bills played the Titans. I’ve been to the Hockey Hall of Fame with him (multiple times). I’ve skated with him outdoors. I’ve played pond hockey with him. I’ve traveled to Florida with him. I drove cross country to Stockton with him. I’ve drank many a German bier at the glorious German Festivals back home. I’ve introduced him to a Sabre and Lightning legend (and one of my bosses, Dave Andreychuk).
The point is, I’ve done so much with him and all of these events I remember. And you know what, when my dad’s time on this earth comes to an end (which I hope is not for a very, very, very, very long time), I’ll look back and remember all of these memorable experiences. It’s bonding, it’s realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around you, and it’s love.
The last thing I want to mention to you kids, hold on to the things that bring you and your family together. If it’s lighting fireworks in your backyard or heading to Blue Ash with your family to watch fireworks, just go and enjoy the time spent with your family. While you may find it boring now, or find it a chore to do something without your friends, it goes a long way with your family and they will always remember it.
After all…the Fourth of July is just as much about spending time with your loved ones and creating memories as it is celebrating our country.
Now stop reading this, get off the computer or your phone, and go spend a fun weekend with your family. You won’t regret it.