I live in Round Rock, Texas, now. My mother and sister live in Big Bear, so each summer we return for a visit but also to reconnect with our hometown. My wife and I graduated from Big Bear High School. We raised our two boys here and Big Bear became their hometown as well. But time has a way of recreating our lives in new and unforeseen ways. Grandsons, a new career, and Texas called, so we set off on a new adventure.

The fireworks display always brings back fond memories and rekindles our love for Big Bear. The special people we will always hold close even though we live in the Lone Star state now. To see Dr. Waner at Stater Bros., the Peavy’s at the Dollar Store, the LeRoys (my employer and friends for life), or countless other friends is always a treat. We don’t always see everyone, but like the fireworks, we know they are here.

So, thank you Rotary Club and all those who bring the 4th of July fireworks to the Valley every year. I still get excited when I hear Mel Blanc’s “Big Bear Lake with its motor boats a putting” song come on (thank you Rick Herrick) and when John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” hits the airwaves, I can’t help but stand up and cheer the spectacular finale. My family’s roots are here, my family’s heart is here, and nothing encapsulates our pride like a good, old fashioned celebration of America.

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