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My Early History as an Entrepreneur

Despite mostly cutting myself off from parental financing in high school, I've actually only had a "real" job for less than a year total in my life. I attribute this not to any great genius on my part, but rather to habit. It was what I was used to doing. I knew that I couldn't get a job when I was a kid, and probably didn't think too highly of them even back then, but I figured that there must be some way for me to make money on my own.

Tynan Park

I jumped in head first when I was ten, and, as a result, got in way over my head. One of they joys of my childhood was visiting a small amusement park in New Hampshire called "Canobie Lake Park". I only got to go once or twice per summer, though, and I figured other kids were probably in the same boat. How great would it be if I opened up an amusement park in my neighborhood?

Red, White, Blue

On Stuff in a Notebook

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Why? Because it's one of the only holidays during which everyone remembers the real meaning. I love waking up on Independence Day to sunshine and happy people - many people don't have to work and are happier because of this. I love driving around and buying fireworks and groceries for a barbecue. I love seeing everyone all dressed up in our country's colors, and I love seeing our armed forces in uniform.

I've had several 4th of July traditions throughout my nineteen years. As a middle school student we would go to the Oregon coast and watch a parade and fireworks, but when I was little, I lived on a street with seventeen kids my age. There were seventeen kids in my grade living on my street, and their siblings. So for every holiday we would have events and parties, and the whole neighborhood would come together. On Independence Day, the kids would decorate their bikes with red, white and blue streamers. I'd wear my Old Navy shirt and my brother would wear his Uncle Sam costume. Afterwards, we'd have some of the neighbors over for a barbecue in my driveway, and some of the dads would join the kids in a game of kickball. My friend and I would draw a chalk American flag in the cul-de-sac. The kids would do sparklers and we'd light off smoke bombs and the fireworks that shot out the little army men with parachutes. When it got dark, we'd pull out lawn chairs and line the sidewalk surrounding the cul-de-sac. Families from out of town would visit specifically for this holiday. The dads would light off fireworks, getting bigger and bigger until the grand finale, which usually involved a couple of fireworks we probably weren't allowed to light off legally. It was one of the best traditions. One day we woke up early and drove four hours to make it back in time for the neighborhood fireworks.

This year, I worked on the 4th. I was supposed to hang out with some friends, but my plans didn't work out and I cried. I cried because I didn't get to do anything. But then I realized something: My childhood traditions were all about America. It was about celebrating our country, our freedom, our neighbors. It was about having a family, a house, a neighborhood - a country worth celebrating.

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