Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day Houseboat Party 2009 - 3

'I think the holiday has lost its original purpose, it's more about gathering with family and friends. The value has changed, especially in the time of sketchy, low-ball politics,' said Jessica.

She was picnic-ing with sister Bianca and friend, Ruthie, celebrating America's birthday of July 4 amongst the houseboat community at Mission Creek - see previous blogs

It was a comment borne out by most of the other party-goers who spoke of their appreciation of having a day with their friends and neighbours without referring to the history of the occasion, freedom and liberty.

Jessica and Bianca are fifth-generation San Franciscans and all three girls are friends of the houseboaters. Ruthie had a choice of parties to go to, but she chose this one.

'It's just the weather by the creek,' she said, recalling past San Franciscan parties in the fog. 'This one's the most mellow party.'

All around, people were spread out on blankets

on the grass or on seats enjoying the food. Behind her, children were splashing in a paddling pool and at the far end a band were preparing to play.

Sitting under a coloured umbrella was Brigid, six-year-old Camille, and Francoise, with 16-month-old Emile on his knee happily eating an ice-cream.

'It's a chance for the family to get together,' said Brigid, another true San Franciscan whose father owns a boat on the creek.

Ironically, it took a Brit to break the mould of comments about family and friends.

'I treasure my independence and freedom!' said Ruth, in red and white striped skirt and blue swimming costume. In her straw hat, white shasta daisies that she grows in her garden.

Ruth is a Londoner. 'I have been in the city since the early 70s. I emigrated on the Niew Amsterdam,' she said.

pics: Bianca, Jessica, Ruthie; the band entertaining the party; Brigid, Camille, Francois, Emile; Ruth

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