Now I was fairly new to Venango County so I didn't know who Ollie, the keyboardist in the band, was. But I was racking my brain trying to figure out why he looked so familiar, so I asked, "who is Ollie?" She told me "it's Judge Lobaugh."
I knew who Judge Lobaugh was (thankfully, for covering him for the newspaper and not from standing shackled before him) but I had no idea he was a rock-n-roller. So I went back and wrote a story about tis great story I found, only to realize I was the only one in the tri state area who didn't really know this story.
It was fun to write that piece which ended up as a blog. In it I mentioned that he sang "Comfortably Numb." So last night when the drummer in the band said "Let's do Comfortably Numb next", Judge Lobaugh saw me and said, "we're playing this for you." I laughed and awkwardly replied, "well, I'm halfway there Judge." Probably not the smartest of replies in retrospect, but I was stone cold sober so ...
It was almost like looking back and forgetting the pandemic even affected anything.... well except some folks are no longer in the crowd.... that part still sucks and it will be a long time before we're over that, if ever.
So I found myself in a nearly empty downtown trying to make a stereotypical, but not one I've ever made, photo of fireworks with a flag in the foreground.
We've been through hell. And yes, we are a tad frayed from the experience. But you know what? That flag is still flying. America turned 245, but it is by no means old. Nor is it even close to being done. We might be a tad tattered, but we are still upheld by the strongest principles humankind ever penned, so we celebrate and we move on.
We grow better because we air our differences, make mistakes, acknowledge those mistakes and work to correct them. The beauty is the Founding Fathers did not write a how-to, they simply wrote a must-seek document that will take hundreds of years of hard work to accomplish.
Today we're further along than ever before in understanding what Thomas Jefferson penned, yet we still have a long, long way to go.
Happy Fourth of July - may we keep getting better because we truly want to be.
Below are a few more photos that grabbed my eye and tried my best to capture. Like America, I too am a work in progress. I may not be Comfortably Numb judge, but thank you for the song!