James Ganiatsos

Fourth Of July

One of the few times that I can remember from when I was a little kid took place on the Fourth of July when I was about seven years old. I was at my grandmother’s house in Wells, Maine, a little rural town that is a popular tourist area because of its tolerable ocean water (considering the fact that it’s in Maine) and its numerous seafood restaurants. The town next to Wells is called York, and every Fourth of July there is a big festival on York Beach. People from all over New England go to the festival. The second you arrive there the smell of fried clams and calamari overwhelm you.

I was eating hot dogs, cheeseburgers, watermelon, and all kinds of seafood, having a lot of fun watching the fireworks and just running around with all my cousins and family friends. After a long night of fun it was time to leave. It was late at night by the time we finally got home, but being the energetic little kid, I was I was still running around like a madman. Earlier that night I had begged my mom for a little wooden American flag that I saw at a tourist stand on the beach.

So she bought it for me and I still had it in my hand as I was running up the porch steps into the house. My mother yelled not to run up the steps but, those words “not run” were not in my vocabulary at the time. I passed the first step, the second step, the third step; I was almost there, I could see the top of the flight of stairs. Here comes the fourth step. I slipped, lost my balance and was falling forward about to smash my face onto the old wooden steps. Naturally I blocked my face with my hands, but unfortunately for me, that little American flag that I just had to have was still in my hand as I did this. The flag shot into my mouth and stabbed me in the back of the throat.

It was a gruesome scene: my throat was bleeding everywhere, and my mother and my relatives all had looks of disgust and terror on their faces. I think they might not have been sure at the time whether I was conscious or not. I certainly would not even be alive if the flag was facing the other way which had a pointy metal tip on it. Eventually the bleeding stopped and I just ate a lot of black raspberry ice cream to soothe my throat. Even though I was only about seven I still remember this experience like it was yesterday. Needless to say from then on I’ve been cautious about running around with pointy objects in my hand.


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