It’s been about a month since I first published my 50 Memories of America list (which you can see here), and in that time I’ve done my best to to soak up the red, white, and blue rays of molecular freedom that soak our blessed nation of opportunity. It’s been bittersweet to say the least, for as much as I’ve enjoyed the constant phantom playing of The Star Spangled Banner that seems to now be following my every footstep, it also reminds me that the time I need to leave it all behind is creeping ever forward.
The Completed Tasks
A few weeks ago, over my spring break from teaching, my brother and I decided to head out to the beautiful Colorado Rockies for a quick weekend camping in the beautiful American outdoors. Never having been to one of our nation’s greatest natural formations, I was absolutely blown away by their intimidatingly immense presence and breathtaking beauty. It’s not that this isn’t the case in some other countries, but the sheer variety of landscapes and natural beauty in our great country is truly something we should feel lucky to have, and be very proud of.
While there, we stayed in an off-the-grid minimalist cabin in the foothills of the Rockies without water or electricity, we enjoyed letting the stresses of every day life and the lure of technology melt away as we enjoyed nature and each other’s company. Miles away from any big cities or sources of light, it was a moving experience spending time looking at the moon and stars, more numerous and clear than I’ve ever seen them.
Over the recent Easter holiday weekend I was able to enjoy a number of other lovely American traditions, as well as spend a much-appreciated few days with my whole family- something that doesn’t get to happen nearly enough. On Friday night we enjoyed a classic American grill-out with a heap of delicious, world class Wisconsin brats and burgers. Over the weekend my brother, father, and I started our work brewing our own delicious Wisconsin beer from scratch, while enjoying a number of brews from around the union, including Uf-Da and Road Slush from New Glarus Brewing and Dark Helmet from Titletown Brewery, both in WI. Since starting this list I’ve also enjoyed beverages from South Park Brewery in Colorado and Saugatuck Brewing Company in Michigan. With only three states covered, I’ve got to do a little more branching out.
I’ve gone to the gun range twice now. I only recently picked up my first firearm, and I’ve come to enjoy the hobby quite a bit. My gun is a Ruger GP100 revolver, the most American hunk of steel that I could find in my price range. shooting .357 chunks of freedom per shot, there are few better feelings than spinning the cylinder and shooting freedom down range one .357 at a time. I was also lucky enough to shoot some of my friends’ guns, pictured below. I may have mixed feelings on guns and gun acquisition overall, but I’ll be damned if the feeling of slinging hot lead isn’t unparalleled.
The rest of these don’t really have a story for, but that doesn’t make them any less American. In no particular order:
Over my spring break, I caught an episode of How It’s Made, and marveled at the glory of American manufacturing. Among other things, I now know how hand cuffs and horse bridles are made.
In March I taught The Great Gatsby to my junior American Lit class. It’s still one of my favorite novels, and a fantastic look into the heart of the highs and lows of chasing the American dream. This is one of the few books I’d easily recommend anyone and everyone read at least once.
At karaoke two Friday’s ago I sang American Ride by Toby Kieth at a local karaoke bar. I felt the bells of freedom ringing from my vocal chords for the world to hear.
A few weeks ago when our government decided, in un-American fashion, to repeal online privacy laws, I contacted my state representative, Senator Ron Johnson (who has received quite a few “donations” from internet service providers), to voice my disdain for his corrupt support of the repeal. I also voted in my local election to do my part in supporting my beliefs, as all true patriots should.
I gambled by competing in a March Madness bracket pool. I tied for third, which isn’t bad for someone who doesn’t watch college basketball outside of Michigan State.
★★ 50 Memories of America ★★
- Watch Top Gun
Read The Great Gatsby
- Listen to some Bruce Springsteen with the windows down in an American made car.
- Watch a John Wayne movie
- Watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- Watch Rocky IV
- Watch Red Dawn (1984)
- Watch D2: The Mighty Ducks
- Watch Miracle
- Watch Independence Day
- Watch The Patriot
- Watch Yankee Doodle Dandy
- Listen to jazz and relax for at least a half hour.
- Read the National Edition of the USA Today
- Read a Captain America Comic
- Watch a Captain America Movie
- Listen to rap music that is critical of America and appreciate their freedom of speech, even though you may disagree
Watch an episode of How It’s Made and appreciate the beauty that is American industry
Food and Drink
Eat a Wisconsin brat. Drink a Wisconsin beer
- Eat some Wisconsin cheese curds.
Have a classic American hot dog
- Eat apple pie
- Eat a piece of meat that’s far bigger than it has any reason to be
- Eat a simple burger and fries, without any fancy toppings
- Eat Chinese takeout, because nothing is more American than Americanizing other cultures’ food
- Deep fry at least four different foods to eat as a meal
- Drink a beer from at least 10 different states
- Eat buffalo wings while watching sports at a bar
- Go to one of the Great Lakes
- Tailgate a baseball game
- Smoke a cigar while drinking some fine bourbon
Shoot a gun
- Drink a PBR and listen to country music for at least a half hour
Go camping in the beautiful American outdoors Call or write a letter to a senator or congressman
- Go to a tractor pull/demolition derby/car race type event
- Go to a museum
Spend some time looking at the moon and appreciate that we’ve been there Sing Toby Keith at karaoke
- Light off fireworks
- Throw tea into a body of water
- Go on a brewery tour
- Enjoy a bonfire
- Cruise through town with the windows down in an American made car
- Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution
Participate in a March Madness pool
- Wear American flag clothing for a day
Vote in an Election