I remember Fourth of Julys spent in my hometown of Poteau. I'd spend most of the holiday weekend at the local country club (emphasis on "country"), betting my friends for sodas on the putting green and perfecting flips in the pool for the annual trick dive contest.

On the big day, while all the grown-ups were playing in the annual golf tournament, us kids would hang out poolside. The lifeguards would grease up watermelons with sunscreen and toss them in the deep end for us to fight over, all for the grand prize of a free candy bar. Sometimes they would put different colored keys in limes and have us dive for those, with the key colors coordinated to various cash prizes.

In the afternoon, after the golfers came in to drink beer on the balcony, the kids would get their sacks of explosives and have a free-for-all on the dilapidated tennis court. It was like kiddie combat.

At night, after the cookout, we'd spread blankets with our families and watch fireworks rise from the driving range to set the country night on fire.

Things are different now.

Nowadays, the only fireworks I like are bottle rockets, which, although illegal in our state, I shot Sunday in an undisclosed location. Plus, my pyrotechnics budget has dwindled to zero since becoming a journalist. Speaking of which, that's what I did on the Fourth of July proper: worked here at the Transcript to produce Tuesday's edition.

I did journey into the scene one night last weekend, though, a place I'd never been in Oklahoma City called Edna's, 5137 N. Classen Boulevard. They didn't have live music, but a smattering of local musicians were there, including Russ from Alpha Male, Eric from Twenty Minutes to Vegas and Lydia from Ghetto Blaster.

The decor features decorated dollar bills all over the walls and ceiling. If you go, order a Lunch Box, the house drink, but don't sip it. It must be chugged to taste right, much like milk at the bottom of a sugary cereal bowl.

This weekend, Joel Rafael blows into town Sunday for Summer Breeze at Andrews Park en route to Okemah's Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. For foreign flavor, check out Son del Barrio tonight at Pepe's, but if you prefer homegrown, peep ESO and Streets of Thieves tonight at Bill's.

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