Mr. Ferguson could be seen every morning skimming the pool with a long handled net in white patent loafers. All summer long. He whistled the whole time. The pool was curved with a diving board. Fancy for our neighborhood. But it seemed that no one ever went in the pool. Cross my heart. A few of us had been invited once to swim some years before. It didn’t go well. The entire hour we were in the pool Mrs Ferguson sat straight-backed in a chair nervously watching. We had to play quiet games and couldn’t use the diving board. Not a one of us went back.
And then, for some strange reason, the Fergusons decided to throw a July 4th pool party. It was a big event with most of the neighborhood invited. Each family brought styrofoam coolers and lawn chairs. The best kid drink was A&P brand black cherry soda. It was quite the party. The diving board was a hit with the kids. At some point I was sitting on the edge of the pool and our neighbor, Mr. Gibson, swam up and called to Mr. Ferguson. He thanked him for the party and then asked why – out of the blue – there was such a change of heart. Mr. Ferguson explained that he’d recently procured a special additive for the pool that would turn dark purple if any kid were to pee in the water. It was that simple; no more worries. Mr. Gibson leaned over the edge of the pool towards the host. “Well, let me tell you something from honest personal experience. That shit doesn’t work.”
I realized at that moment that July 4th fireworks come in all different forms as Mr. Ferguson’s face turned the color of ground beef. It was like he swallowed his smile. And that he didn’t like the way it tasted at all. Needless to say, the pool portion of the party ended rather abruptly over weather “concerns.” People stuck around until it was dark enough for sparklers but left soon after. The Fergusons never had a pool party again.
Consider yourself warned. This is a cautionary tale of why it is ever so necessary for your July 4th food game to be strong. Because over-reliance on fireworks or weather or pool chemicals or god-knows-what can lead to utter, soul-crushing dismay. However, leaning on potato salad will not. Trust me. When in doubt, remember the Acme motto: Delicious is always a really good idea. And the other Acme motto: Let us do the cooking.
The Acme July 4th Takeout Extravaganza. $55 and serves 2 hungry souls or $110 for 4. Menu is below and can be purchased here. Pickup is Sunday, July 3rd, between noon and 2pm. All orders must be placed before noon on Friday, July 1st. It is possible that we will sell out.
And this week is the oh-so-delicious Beach Week at Acme. Tonight through Sunday. Seafood without the sand, hushpuppies without the Hawaiian Tropic. Plus the return of summer with the Acme tomato plate – amen and pass the cornbread. Chocolate icebox pie. Corn on the cob. Watermelon Sangria. And all the great NC seafood that your heart could ever imagine. Calabash comes to Carrboro. I’m not sure if it gets any better.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme
Acme’s July 4th Extravaganza
Serves 2 or 4
Smoked Beer-Can Chicken
Alabama White BBQ Sauce
Charred Corn and Tomato Salad
Blue Ribbon Potato Salad
Summer Squash Casserole
Peach & Blueberry Cobbler