A Baker Island 4th of July

We sent Jacko correspondent Mike Hewitt ’16 to check out how the States’ most uninhabited non-state celebrates the 4th of July.

It’s a beautiful cloudless day here on Baker Island, a small US territory in the Pacific Ocean, where the Fourth of July festivities are just underway! The grass and low-lying shrubs rustle with patriotic glee on the abandoned WWII airstrip, a testament to the island’s cherished place in American history. It’s hard to sit down on a day like this, especially when the ground is covered in guano.

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Baker Island is red, white, and blue as far as the eye can see, mostly because the three visible things are hermit crabs, guano, and water. And if you squint hard enough, or let the delirium kick in hard enough, every shit-filled seagull is a bald eagle. And every wad of guano is a cold, refreshing snow cone.

Life moves a little slower here out here in America’s heartland. And I call it “America’s heartland” in the way that this one diseased seagull chick has its heart beating entirely outside its body. Soon the little guy will join the founding fathers in freedom! So far no parade floats have passed by, but I’m ready to wave and shout at anything that floats by. I just accidentally set off my only emergency flare, letting loose the greatest fireworks display Baker Island has ever seen!

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I guess it took coming to the far reaches of America to learn what it truly means to be American. And what it means to die on a floating pile of bird shit.

-Mike Hewitt [Matt Garczynski]