I'm just back from a New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concert in Brookdale Park followed by fireworks, a holiday tradition roundabout Exit 151.
The concert was fun, the pyrotechnics glorious, but the pre-recorded fireworks music seemed strangely off. The finale was neither Stars and Stripes Forever nor 1812 Overture nor yet They're Coming to America, but a country and western tune that loped to an inconclusive finish. People remained seated, wondering if there was more. It was vaguely unsettling.
Then again, perhaps that's only fitting. Eariler today was the memorial service for Monica Paul, who was fatally shot at the "Little Y" a week ago, the very day SCOTUS handed down a landmark decision on the right to bear arms. Remarkably, she had prepared letters to her children, ages 11 and 4 years old, that were to be opened and read in the event of her death. She wrote them when she filed for a restraining order against their father, her ex-husband, the alleged killer. New Jersey has some of the most comprehensive relationship abuse laws in the country, yet some would say they're meaningless pieces of paper and others would call them tyrannical infringements of basic liberties. Something to ponder tomorrow.
As usual, I'll ride in the Fourth of July parade tomorrow with the BikeMontclair bicycle unit. Thanks to a donation from Whole Foods, we'll be giving away Lärabars to the crowd along the parade route. Word to Lära-lovers: Bloomfield Avenue is the place to be.