BORN ON THE 4th of JULY 1872

was Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  In following my travels, by now you know that Plymouth Notch is one of my favorite drives, just but an hour and a century away.

Yesterday I called the Saint Gaudens National Historic Site (another favorite escape) to see if there were any special events planned for the day.  Finding none, I closed out the day reading about Ethan Allen, but with nothing planned for the 4th other than playing with all the “new” “old” books I had just purchased.  But while mowing the yard commencing at 8:10 this morning I heard a faint whisper, “Me, Me, it is my turn.”  I recognized BLACK BEAUTY’S seductive cooing. And then it struck me – Plymouth Notch, and I remembered reading of the yearly old-fashion celebration on the 4th complete with marching to the President’s grave and chicken barbeque.  Finish yard, shower, feed Cricket, quick confirmation of the events on the website, and off we roared.

I am backing to park on a grassy spot at The Calvin Coolidge Homestead District  which is a National Historic Landmark that is administered by the State of Vermont with an active supporting Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation — and what do I hear but, “Hey, Ray!”  My neighbors Dave and Lil are entering the parking field in their modern convertible followed by friends Bob and Kerry, also with their top down (but no fun, both cars with roll up windows, and air conditioners on – yes with tops down – go figure).   I joined them, and was thrilled to be able to share a special outing and a meal with friends.

The Center of Plymouth Notch, VT.

The Center of Plymouth Notch, VT.

It was not packed, but still more than the handful of folks I usually see in this special place.  At noon the Vermont National Guard led the march from the village green to the cemetery.

The crowd gathers for the march to the cemetery.

The crowd gathers for the march to the cemetery.

The graveside ceremony included a reading of one of Coolidge’s speeches by members of the foundation and the great grandchildren of the President.  Laying of a wreath presented by the White House followed at the President’s gravesite.  The assembled crowd then traversed the short distance back to town, and we got in line for the Barbecue at the Wilder House.  Even if a barbecue is not in the offing, under the trees in “downtown” Plymouth Notch is the place to spread a blanket, open a book and picnic basket, and enjoy.  The images and video below give you a flavor of the day.  When I departed I explored some favorite backroads, and picked up some new ones, “filling in the spaces on the map” as Gary and I are fond of saying.  And, I stopped to enjoy the Vermont Country Store on the trek homewards.

HAPPY 4th of JULY; and, RAY RECOMMENDS you plan an outing to Calvin Coolidge’s Plymouth Notch.

The parade to the cemetery with members of the Vermont National Guard begins.

The parade to the cemetery with members of the Vermont National Guard begins.

Graveside with "crowd."

Graveside with “crowd.”

The wreath from the White House is laid.

The wreath from the White House is laid.

Procession back to town.

Procession back to town.

This entry was posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips, Plymouth Notch, Vermont and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to BORN ON THE 4th of JULY 1872

  1. Lil says:

    Such fun to travel to Plymouth to have lunch with my neighbor! Lil

  2. Ray Boas says:

    A special day made extra special — thanks Lil, as always, RAY

  3. Betty says:

    Go figure, Ray. VicePresident Coolidge took office when President Harding died unexpectedly. Here we are in Alaska only a stone’s throw from the Fairview Inn in Talkeetna where local folklore has it President Harding just might have been poisoned… So far apart in miles, yet so close in history, we are today!

  4. lelandwilson says:

    Ray: Thanks for sharing your Fourth of July. A great day for all us patriots. Lee

  5. Marian says:

    Thank you Ray. What a short but great trip. Glad that Black Beauty got a turn on the road.
    You have friends in Alaska. They are about 80 miles north of me in Talkeetna. It is an old town that remains that way because they love it that way.

    Have safe travels.
    Love,
    Marian

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