Yankee Doodle Dandy

Over the years, I’ve developed my own personal Independence Day traditions. When I was younger, we used to stake a spot at the park and wait out in the heat all day to see the fireworks. But now, I can’t tolerate that (and it’s such a drag being stuck in traffic until after midnight on a work night.) So instead I watch the fireworks on TV. I thought the Macy’s show from NYC was the best.  In addition, we always have barbecue from the Hickory House, I make a blackberry cobbler and watch my favorite Americana movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

I’m a DVD junkie. I know “streaming” is the cool thing to do now, but to me the selection is poor and many times when I want to watch it, it’s not working. But with my DVD’s, I can watch whatever I want, when I want. This comes in handy when a holiday rolls around and I don’t want to wait until 8:00 for Turner Classic Movies to run it. I’ve actually skipped this the last few years, but yesterday I watched it again and it’s just as wonderful as I remembered. And if you don’t tear up in the last scene when the crowd is singing “Over There,” well you’re just not an American.

All I could think about during this year’s screening was “Remember what it was like when Hollywood used to love America too?” My mother told me about all the famous movie stars she met during the 40’s when they were selling war bonds. Soldiers were always heroes in the movies. There were good guys and bad guys and the good guys always won. Music was wonderful and everything was rated “G” (before Hollywood threw out the production code and started filling everything with blood, nudity and profanity.)

I had forgotten the scene where the snooty actress tells Cohan that she didn’t think she could be in one of his shows because there is too much patriotism and I believe she says “flag waving.” Boy, would she love today’s show business! Too bad the rest of us have to rely on a DVD of a 70 year old black and white movie to remember the days before Hollywood hated America.

Hope you all had a Happy Independence Day!