Independence Day

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: The Napolitano Team

These words mean a lot of things to many different people. It seems the further that we get from 1776, the true meaning of Independence Day has become blurred. I’m not crying out loud about the lack of Patriotism in our country… but in our politically charged and ‘correct’ world – there may less respect for the process that our founders went through almost 250 years ago than there was generations ago. Time does indeed change things and as the generations pass, not all stories and sentiment are accurately carried forward.

Rolling forward to 2018, we all still celebrate Independence Day, but more as a day off than a celebration of Independence… and who likes to have fun more than me? So my plan is to have fun, with some part the day and my activities reflecting on the history of how this country started with a deep appreciation for the courage and fortitude of our long gone founding fathers.

What follows are brief stories from each on our team regarding their Independence Day memories or plans….


By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

Growing up in an apartment building in the NYC metro area, Independence Day was about getting outdoors and enjoying a random day off for my Dad. With four young boys in tow and not a cent to spare, my Independence Day memories were trips to the beach or a backyard BBQ in my grandparents 15 X 20 foot yard. Mom and Dad always made our days brighter, funner and fuller even though we had little more than each other and a 1963 Chevy Bellaire Wagon.

I began developing a sense of importance around both Independence Day and Memorial Day by two events that live large in my memory. One was that of playing George Washington in a fourth grade play and the other was marching in the parades as a cub scout and later as a lousy grammar school trumpet player.

Then came the summer of 10th grade where Dad finally had scraped together the $5,000 needed for a down payment on a home. This home needed a lot of work, but it had an old cement pool in the back yard that was also in need of a lot of work. Not scared by the work, we all worked day and night to make the home livable and the pool swimmable. But for some strange reason at the age of 14, this always tied into the theme of independence and Fourth of July for me. It was about sacrifice, discipline, hard work and then enjoying the fruits of your labor. 

This year, I’ll be enjoying my Independence Day on the West Coast, touring from Vancouver to the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, Crater Lake and the hills of CA with youngest daughter Julia. It started as a trip to help her relocate from Bellingham, WA to San Francisco. But it is turning into a whirlwind tour celebrating our family and the hard work that we’ve endured to enjoy what our founding fathers envisioned. Freedom and independence.



By: Alex Weiss, CFP®

My favorite part of the 4th of July: Fireworks. It doesn’t matter the size of the show, but something about the bright colors and lively noise makes my hair stand up – I feel like a kid again. This year we will be headed over to our friends house in Back Bay where they get a clear shot of the Boston fireworks show without any of the crowds – a win, win! The trick to watching the show in town is getting the live stream of the Boston Pops. Since the fireworks and music sync up, it makes for a much better viewing experience. Here is all you need to know: Click here and select the "Tune-In" section at the top right of the page.


By: Tom Schulte

I must admit, I am not overly excited for this year’s 4th falling on a Wednesday. A betting man (or woman) would expect a simple, boring 4th of July meal consisting of salad or grilled chicken followed by a relatively early bed time for me. However, my fondest Fourth of July memories revolve around ‘The Cheeses.’ Plastic, not dairy-based, these 8-foot yellow circles rode the waves of Lake Ontario like no other. They would be anchored each and every morning throughout the summer, placed roughly fifty yards offshore. Whether they used for sunbathing, wrestling arenas, or fishing posts, there was hardly a time during the day that they were left vacant.



By: Tom Fletcher, CFP®

With warm weather, good food, music, a jet flyover, and a firework finale, the 4th of July is easily the greatest holiday of the year. We’re a family of traditions and we’ve been doing the same approximate routine for the past 10 years or so. Our home is relatively close to the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, where the Boston Pops perform each year in front of hundreds of thousands. This proximity not only allows us to listen to the live orchestra, it also gives us the opportunity to view the fireworks on the Charles River from our roof deck. The festivities begin in the morning when I get my ladder out, hang the American flag from the house, then we all head up to our roof deck for most of the rest of the day. We stick with the basic low calorie food groups - hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, potato salad, corn on the cob, then finish it off with a big bowl of ice cream. I’m usually in a total food coma by 10:00.  Fortunately at that juncture all I need to do is sit in a chair and stare as the sky lights up in spectacular colored shapes and flashes.



By: Jenn Kovalski

Growing up the 4th of July was celebrated by attending the town parade and collecting the un-melted candy thrown from the floats. Now, I enjoy spending the holiday with family at my Uncle’s home in Marion. His home is perched on a cliff right above the ocean with coastline views of Marion, Old Rochester and Mattapoisset, who all coincidentally put on some of the most impressive 4th of July celebration events. Each town has their own show of fireworks and it’s truly an experience mainly because of our vantage point, as we can see each towns display without getting out of our chairs.

I can’t talk about the 4th of July without mentioning the menu. Most of my family will agree, this is our second Thanksgiving. We grill swordfish, lamb, burgers, hotdogs, veggies, and even watermelon and pineapple. Then there are the sides: dips, salads, shrimp, I could go on and on. Dessert doesn’t disappoint either, there is homemade blueberry pie, coconut cream pie, trifles, cakes, cookies- you name it!