Minnesota School Of Music - July 2019

07. 2019 763-432-9713 www.mnschoolofmusic.com


Nowadays my family goes a little farther afield to celebrate Independence Day. Running a school, we’ve found that July Fourth is just about the only time of year we can travel for any length of time, so we’ve made a tradition of it. While it’s a little more work than enjoying a parade from the comfort of our front lawn, we’ve managed to keep one aspect of my childhood Fourth alive. For the last three years, we’ve made a point of visiting major league baseball parks around the nation. We kicked off this new Nehring tradition by driving to Chicago to watch the Cubs play the Reds on the Fourth itself. Watching the jets fly overhead as service members rolled out an enormous American flag onto Wrigley Field was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Standing for the national anthem, I knew this was going to be a memory that would stick with my son the rest of his life. Given the recent loss of my grandmother, it’s not clear whether we’ll be going anywhere for Independence Day this year. We have our sights set on cheering on the Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. It would be great to get up to the Northwest and let our kids look out on the Pacific Ocean, but that may have to wait for another year. Regardless whether or not we can get away this year, I’m sure we’ll make it out to a baseball park. Maybe we’ll get the plastic bats and Wiffle ball out and take the kids to a park ourselves. I know my grandmother would have loved that.


T here are few events from my up in Blaine back when it still had a small-town feel, I really got the classic Independence Day experience. The parade route actually went right by my grandparents’ house, so we didn’t even have to go anywhere. My family would just set up on the front lawn and watch the firetrucks and marching bands go by. At the risk of giving away my age, I vividly recall the celebrations in the summer of 1988. That year, the Twin Cities were in the midst of a massive drought, and the grass in everyone’s yards was dead. Always one to make lemonade when life gave him lemons, my grandfather let parade attendees park right on our front lawn. We served up homemade ice cream and candy and watched the fireworks show at childhood I remember as clearly as the Fourth of July. Growing

the end of the street. But perhaps the highlight of the day was baseball.

There was a school yard right across the street from my grandparents’ house, complete with a baseball diamond. Every Fourth of July, the neighbor kids, my cousins, and I would take the field for pickup games while the adults watched. A lifelong baseball fan, my grandma was always there to cheer me on when I took the pitcher’s mound — when she wasn’t busy discussing her beloved Twins with friends. It’s hard not to be nostalgic for those childhood summers all those years ago. “Watching the jets fly overhead as service members rolled out an enormous American flag onto Wrigley Field was nothing short of awe-inspiring.”

Here’s to all the family traditions that make the Fourth of July special,

–Eric Nehring

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