By Angie Georgeff

Happy Fourth of July! Even though many years have passed since I last visited Daytona Beach, I often think about that resort this time of year. My family vacationed there almost every year during my childhood, and whenever we vacationed somewhere else, I wanted to be there instead. Back then, Daddy worked at Raytheon. Since the plant closed down for its summer vacation, we spent every Fourth of July out of town.

Mama, Daddy and the older of my two younger brothers would spend the day in the hot sun watching the Firecracker 400, while my youngest brother and I stayed at the motel with a family friend whose husband went to the race with the rest of my family. That way, we were able to enjoy the beach and the pool and everybody concerned was as happy as a clam in wet sand, especially Steve and me.

One year we found a small American flag stuck in a dune. I was young then and probably would not be able to date that discovery, except for the fact that the flag had 49 stars. Since Alaska was admitted to the union on January 3, 1959 and Hawaii on Aug. 21 of that same year, it was likely 1959.

We kept that flag as a souvenir for many years along with the motley treasures we gleaned from the strand during each low tide.

Even more so than my brothers, I was fascinated by the seashells we found cast up on the beach and rolling in the surf. Seeing my interest, my parents bought me a guidebook to help me identify them.

The basic information about taxonomy and binomial nomenclature I garnered from that little paperback stood me in good stead in later biology and marine biology classes. I also learned a lot about geography from looking up the habitats of especially attractive and rare mollusks.

Even though I wasn’t in school, I was still learning. It was my own personalized Summer Reading Program, at a time when such programs were not widely available. We still have 10 days left in our Summer Reading Programs for children, teens and adults, but even after that, we can help your child keep reading and learning until school starts. Every day of your life provides a wonderful opportunity to learn something. Just let us know what piques your child’s curiosity—or you own!

Family Fun Friday

Join us at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 6, to express your interests and creativity on stone. In honor of our “Libraries Rock” slogan, we will be painting rocks, and doing it at the library.

Please note:  This program will not take place at Erwin’s Town Hall. All ages are welcome at this event, so bring your entire family.