The coolest Fourth ever

The coolest Fourth ever

ironsides.jpgUpdate: I’ve now put up a post with photos, video, and my impressions of this awesome day.

I’m going to have the coolest Independence Day ever and I think it will be hard for anyone to top. That’s because I will be spending my Fourth aboard the world’s oldest commissioned warship, the USS Constitution, during it’s annual turnaround cruise in Boston Harbor.

My dad knows a former commanding officer of the ship known as “Old Ironsides” and some time ago promised me that he would ask his friend about getting us onboard for the cruise. I’d forgotten all about it until today when he called me to tell me not to make any plans for the Fourth.

You have to understand that the Constitution is my favorite historical or tourist attraction in Boston, a city full of historical or tourist attractions. I love square-rigged ships from the Age of Sail. I devoured the Horatio Hornblower and Aubrey-Maturin book series.

On the ship’s bicentennial, when the Navy sailed it from Boston to Marblehead, I got up at some ungodly hour before dawn to photograph it from the shore in that early morning light.

So yeah, this is big. Very big.

I plan to take a lot of photos and video. I tried to convince Melanie that I need a better camera to take said photos but she looked at me funny and said I didn’t. She just doesn’t understand. Sigh.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Win a bar bet. Who was the first Pope to step on to US soil?

    Pius IX in 1848—-onto “Old Ironsides” the US Constitution, while she was docked in Gaeta, Spain. Like a consulate, it’s “US Soil.”

  • And don’t forget, Dom, it’s never been officially decommissioned. It remains to this very day an active member of the US naval fleet.

    Better behave yourself.

  • That sound very exciting.  Kind of thing you remember.

    I will be celebrating a bit more California style.  We will be poolside with steaks on the grill and margaritas in hand.

  • Actually, the HMS Victory is the oldest commissioned warship in the world.  However as she is permanently drydocked, the Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat.

  • I tried to convince Melanie that I need a better camera to take said photos but she looked at me funny and said I didn’t. She just doesn’t understand.

    On the contrary, I believe she understands perfectly well.

    Enjoy your jaunt! And never mind the “new camera” thing.


  • Now, wait, are you saying that I shouldn’t want either a new camera or an iPhone? I suppose I should also be glancing at those beautiful new HDTVs. Heck, I’m even looking at the <span style=“font-style: italic;”>budget</span> TVs. Now if that ain’t restrained and noble, I don’t know what is.

  • Dom,you lucky man!  I’ve always DREAMED of being on board the Constitution when she’s out on the water.  Can’t wait to see the photos!

    Me and the wife will be having a few friends over for food and drinks – our new priest (because of a parish merger) may be stopping by, too, which means I’ve got to get a bottle of Bushmills ready for him.

    Happy Fourth!

  • If you had a new camera, you might make a mistake at a crucial moment and lose all your photos. Better to have something familiar for Big Things.

    And yes, that’s very neat. smile

  • Can’t wait to see the photos!

    Nor can I! However, Maureen is correct…Dom has a perfectly good camera to record this event. A new camera would be…dangerous! wink