Fourth of July on the Shores of Lake Okoboji

Photo courtesy of Drew Dau Photography


Tis the summer season

Of golfing and cycling

Of boating and fishing

Of tanning and swimming

Of the joys of activities we love to do

On the shores of Lake Okoboji


Tis the time

Of the Legend Roller Coaster

Of the Tour on the Queen

Of Shopping at the Emporium

Of Dancing at the Roof Garden

Of the fun times we have to offer

On the shores of Lake Okoboji


Tis the day

Of being stuck in a jam on Route 71

Of finding the best place to sit in Arnolds Park

Of arming ourselves with insect spray

Of getting the camera ready for the day

Of the excitement and lights

Of the clear blue waters

On the shores of Lake Okoboji


Tis the evening

Of being together

Of catching up with friends

Of playing cards with family

Of buffets made by our hosts

Of a small cabin fit for the dozens

Of the uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces, plus cousins and siblings

On the shores of Lake Okoboji


Tis the night

Of the colorful lights

Of the flashes and sounds

Of the oohs and aahs

Of our American Flag

Of the Red, White and Blue

Of the unity and peace

On the shores of Lake Okoboji.


Tis the time

Of looking back at history

Of the tiredness and the toil

Of our Founding Fathers

Of our Military

Of our country and democracy

Of the memories we share with the young

On the shores of Lake Okoboji


Tis the moment

Of taking pride of who we are

Of being thankful for our family and friends

Of our hosts for letting us stay

Of their cottage full of joy and laughter

Of our independence

And our paths moving forward

On the shores of Lake Okoboji.


This poem is dedicated in memory of two of my relatives, who made their home in Arnolds Park on the shores of West Lake Okoboji, in northern Iowa, for over a half century and opened their doors to us family and their friends. These were great times, as we did what I had written in my poem and then some. They made sure we didn’t go hungry at the end of the Fourth of July celebrations and instilled onto us the meaning of what a Fourth of July stood for- not just of independence, but of family and love. There are times like these I wish I could go back to, especially in these tough times America and the rest of the world are facing. Maybe these two relatives have an idea of how……