The 4th of July holiday is a time to celebrate our freedom, our founding and our liberties – all of the things that we enjoy as citizens of this big, beautiful nation we call home. For me the 4th of July is my Thanksgiving.
It’s the time of year that the bay is bountiful, the weather is favorable to a fisherman and my friends and family are close. I’m thankful for all of it. Summer on Long Island has always been extraordinary because the occupation that puts food on my family’s table is also part of so many celebrations.
It was a brutal winter for all of us, the Baymen in particular, so this respite means even more. But there’s something else. Something even more personal that makes these summer holidays so meaningful.
I come from a big family. So does my wife, Vicky. Sometimes at family gatherings it seems like everyone on the North Shore of Long Island is somehow related to us. Since we have been a couple the same thing inevitably happens during these long summer holiday weekends. I usually catch up with friends and family after getting out early and working all day on the water. We move from house to house, eating our way through neighbor’s backyards and stopping every ten feet to talk to someone walking between the beach and bay side streets in Bayville.
Then, like clockwork, we all wind up at Bumpy’s.
You may have noticed the “Bumpy Special” Clambake Bucket on our special order items. It’s named for my father-in-law. Bayville residents need no introduction because he’s a legend in this town. And deservedly so. Bumpy and my mother-in-law treated me like a son from the moment I met Vicky. In their minds we were instantly one family, not a relation through marriage. I know plenty of people who either dislike their in-laws or, at best, tolerate them but it’s not something I can relate to.
And so this year, unlike years past, I will get to Bumpy’s a little later than usual because of the launch of our new Clambake Bucket product line. And no one is more excited for Vicky and me than her parents. In fact, it seems like the whole of Bayville is pulling for us and being the wind in our sails. But I will get there. And no matter how late it is, Bumpy will be there holding court, smiling, laughing and loving life.
This is my 4th of July.
Happy 4th. See you on the water. Buzz me later.