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July 5th Happy Losers Party

2009 July 4
by Gordon Reid

FlagFrom my first summer ┬áhere in America, I have been entertained royally (oops; wrong word!) every July 4th. I’ve been on roof decks watching fireworks, at pool side parties drinking mint juleps, in beautiful gardens for barbecues.

The second year I was here, I decided to have my own party here at the Rectory on July 5th, and sent out invitation cards which read :

“No more British cannons firing at patriotic Americans;

Just one Scottish Canon, who has great pleasure in inviting

Both Brits and Americans to recover from July 4th, by coming to his

LOSERS PARTY on July 5th.”

The top of the invitation card had the British Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes together.

Once my friends got over the shame of being asked to a Losers party, they threw themselves into it and we had a great time. In subsequent years, I called it “The Happy Losers Party” to show there were no hard feelings. When I saw people arriving and realized that they were laden with huge plates of leftovers from the many July 4th celebrations, I knew my canny, thrifty Scottish ancestors would have rejoiced, but we got through most of what I had provided and what the other forty or fifty people had brought, as if we had not eaten just as much the day before.

I mixed British, American, English and Scottish flags and napkins all over the house and, I’m sorry to say, gave in to the temptation to make a sentimental speech about freedom, apple pie and motherhood. In spite of that, it was a good evening and some new friendships were made by visiting Brits and others.

Last year and this year I have not had the Happy Losers Party, for various reasons, but I think I’ll reinstate it next year. However, having just looked at the calendar, I see it is on a Monday, which might not be the best day for it. But maybe that day will be a holiday, to make up for the 4th being a Sunday? I hope so.

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