4th of July a Great Memory Maker


By Marilyn Titone Schaefer
AVP, Communications Director

iStock_000064616455_FullWhat’s your favorite 4th of July memory?

Mine was paddling a canoe into the Potomac, then tying up to a larger boat and watching fireworks with the Lincoln Memorial as the backdrop.  You get to do things like that when you have a sister living in D.C.!  Another year we sat on her condo’s rooftop patio and watched from the sky.  Too bad the air was thick and wet; by the time the first firework went off, residual smoke began blocking all the fireworks that followed.  Pretty much a fail.  Thus, the Potomac the next year.

I asked my INB colleagues to tell me what they consider a favorite 4th of July memory.  Like me, Mt. Pulaski’s Customer Service Rep Linda Dirks had an “up high” experience with fireworks.  Happily, hers turned out better than mine.  She says, “We had gone to a wedding in Schaumburg, Ill. on a 4th of July weekend and watched fireworks from the very top floor of our hotel.  There were fireworks going off in every direction that night, and being on the top floor made us feel like they were right in front of us.”

Pleasant Plains Assistant Branch Manager Cayla Keyes found her favorite memory a little closer to home.  “My entire family would gather at Nichols Park in Jacksonville to watch the firework display. We did this every year as far back as I can remember . . . As we grew older and stopped going, we now look forward to our annual backyard shrimp boil and hope to make that a memory for our kids!”

Also finding good times close to home was Peoria’s Senior Vice President Al Covington.  “We set off fireworks in the side yard of my grandparent’s farm home and caught lightning bugs in glass jars with air holes punched in top.”  Al pointed out, “They died anyway.”

Many Springfield-area natives will remember the 4th of July street festival that ultimately “died.”  North Branch Teller Supervisor Gretchen Cromwell’s favorite memory revolves around the event:  “My Dad was a soda vendor for many years at Lincoln Fest in Downtown Springfield. He stayed in a hotel in the downtown area since he would otherwise be driving home late at night and leaving early in the morning. My sister, brothers and I would all go to the hotel to swim during the day and on the 4th, watch fireworks. It was always so late, but I loved watching them. I’d lay on one of the concrete benches and just look up at the sky. It’s still my favorite time of year!”

Marsha Shomidie, Vice President and Pleasant Plains Branch Manager has a favorite memory of sitting out on the lake at her sister’s lake home in Tool, Texas, right outside Dallas.  They would use a pontoon boat and watch an air show in the late afternoon and then, at dusk, sit in the middle of the lake on the boat and watch fireworks.  Marsha says, “They’d go off all around the lake in every direction you’d look. It was beautiful!”

Vice President and Riverton and Mt. Pulaski Branch Manager Dee Jason, said water was the backdrop to her most memorable 4th of July as well.  “When my girls were younger, we went to a St. Louis Cardinal’s ballgame, which of course they won, and then watched the Fourth of July fireworks over the Mississippi River.  It was impressive; definitely the best display I had ever seen!!  We had a wonderful time!!”

But Debbie Shelton had the most memorable 4th of all:  in 1981, her son Michael was born.   Debbie is a senior vice president and our West Wabash branch manager.

Do you have a favorite 4th of July memory?  Please share it with us.


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