All American Barbecue

1950s family at backyard barbecue grill

The Smell of Democracy in the Air

Every July 4th our split level development would be shrouded by the smoke of burning charcoal, the sizzling smell of democracy was in the air.

Besides a parade, nothing was more quintessentially American than a July fourth back yard barbecue. Like some sacred Old Testament tradition of sacrificing an animal to please the Lord, every Independence Day a burnt offering of seared flesh was offered up in homage to Uncle Sam.

And in that  confident mid-century soaring bull market, Democracy was as vital to our health as a Delmonico steak.

Dad  knew tossing a hunk of  meat on a sizzling grill, the ubiquitous package of Kingsford briquettes at the ready proclaimed to the world “I’m proud to be an American.”

The Smell of Capitalism  In The Air

In fact nothing was more American than those Kingsford briquettes. Invented by the quintessential American capitalist Henry Ford as a way of further lining his own pockets, Ford had a better idea. By charring the wood scraps left over from his Model T’s and mixing them with starch fillers and just the right amount of chemicals, industrious Mr. Ford created briquettes .

The smell of democracy was indeed in the air – nothing reeked of capitalism more than turning industrial waste into profit.

Excerpt from Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear Family Copyright (©) 20012 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved

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2 comments

  1. Pingback: July 4th Hot Diggety Dog | Envisioning The American Dream

  2. An interesting discussion is definitely worth
    comment. I think that you ought to publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people don’t discuss such
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