Jim and Roxie (copy)

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie

Roxie was all decked out from the tip of her red nose (which I figured was left over from her Halloween costume) to the tip of her tail on which was hung a small American flag.

“Roxie. What’s up?”

“Can’t you tell? What comes after three?”

“Musketeers?”

“Okay, quit pulling my legs. Four. I’m getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July. I’m starting a new chapter in my human watching notebook. Tell me, what do you most remember most about July Fourth celebrations?”

“My best memories center on the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.”

“What is so special about that race?”

“What started out as a modest event sponsored by the Atlanta Track Club has turned into the world’s largest 10K. The number of participants has been capped at 65,000.”

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

“Nope. When I lived in Atlanta, July Fourth would would begin with standing at the starting line at 7:30 a.m. A hip replacement ended my running, but the juices still begin to flow when I wake up on the Fourth. Runners were divided into groups according to experienced performance. I was in the seeded group. That meant I got to use the same Porta Johns as the Olympians, That’s the last I saw of those runners until the post race festivities.

“However, the neatest thing was just being with such a diverse group of people. So many countries were represented. And It was a cross section of our country; all races, ethnic and cultural backgrounds; women, men, young, old, world record holders, weekend joggers ...”

“Jim, it sounds like more of a happening than a race. Also, from my perspective as a human watcher, it represents our nation at its best. One thing we all have in common is our diversity. The Fourth is a good time to celebrate that.”

“Amen Roxie!”

The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie live in Pawleys Island.