Bill KirbyOnline news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Readers reflect on 'Fantastics Day'

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Memory … is the diary that we all carry about with us.

Oscar Wilde

My comments about Augusta’s unique July Fourth “Fantastics Day” have inspired the following memories.

“At my house,” wrote Jim Pardue, “the Fourth was seldom called Independence Day – it was Fantastics Day, and one of the first questions that morning was: ‘Have you seen any Fantastics?’ Then sooner or later we would see a group of eight or 10 parading down the street.

“Another interesting thing I found was how in the 1920s the adults seem to take it over and it became an out-of-control Mardi Gras type event. It then seemed to swing back to the kids in the ’30s and ’40s.

“My last recollection of seeing a real-live ‘Fantastic’ was probably very early 1960s.

“P.S. Our version of the chant was a little different: ‘Fantastic, Fantastic, come this way. Bring your dinner and stay all day.’ ”

Gould B. Hagler adds this: “I was born in 1924 and I remember while in the street on this day we yelled: ‘Fantastic, fantastic, come this way. Bring your dinner and stay all day.’ I also remember dressing in what we thought was funny but not exactly what. One of my lifelong friends remembers she said, ‘But don’t stay all day.’  ”

And Paula Poss adds: “My grandparents lived in the mill village. The Fourth of July was always special because of Fantastics. I can remember dressing up and walking up and down on the 400 block of Crawford Avenue.”

YOUR TRAVEL MAIL: Rus­sell Pate, of Wadley, is on the North Carolina coast, where he found “beautiful beaches, wild horses, lots of history.” Sandy Hamm, of Grovetown, is “having a great time in Oregon with family. Portland weird as ever. Seaside is rainy – typical. Grew up here but definitely prefer Augusta!”

“On the road on to Ken­tucky then Canton, Ohio,” reads an anonymous card from Tennessee.

TODAY’S JOKE: Here’s one shared by Everett Fernandez:

There was a man driving down the road behind an 18-wheeler. At every stoplight the trucker would get out of the cab, run back and bang on the trailer door. After seeing this at several intersections in a row, the motorist followed him until he pulled into a parking lot.

When they both had come to a stop, the truck driver once again jumped out and started banging on the trailer door. The motorist went up to him and said, “I don’t mean to be nosy, but why do you keep banging on that door?”

To which the trucker replied, “Sorry, can’t talk now. I have 20 tons of canaries and a 10-ton limit, so I have to keep half of them flying at all times.”

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