Sunday, July 04, 2010


I was such a fireworks kid! I LOVED them. I bought them illicitly whenever I could (illegal in my home state - Pennsylvania). I made my own. Oh for fireworks. And the chemicals we bought back then would surely trip a terrorist list investigation today! Some of the stuff was highly dangerous! All of it could burn things (like fields (check), fingers (check)) or blow up big time. Probably the largest explosion was in a three foot rocket (aluminum tube) which, when it blew up, echoed around the hills for some time. It was the loudest explosion I had ever stood close to - I was about 16 at the time. The kid who lit the fuse and ran was passed by shrapnel from the explosion.

The must be angels.

What I cannot understand is that as I aged I lost my enthusiasm, and I cannot figure out why. Last night we had a great place (private home) to watch a great display but I was feeling lousy and didn't go. Out our TV room window we could see several displays in the distance and other than a few more creative rockets, it was ho-hum.

Maybe the years of 'syncing" radio music to fireworks displays drained me (they cannot sync well and very few people ever bring radios.) In Minneapolis (actually St. Paul) we were supposedly involved with the largest fireworks display 'this side of the Mississippi.' That would be hyperbole. But it was a huge display.

As a young kid, I remember sitting in an alley by the beach in Ocean City NJ where some grownups (no doubt hammered) had several shopping bags of fireworks and set them off right THERE, right in front of the assembled kids. That was SO cool.

One fourth of July my dad and uncle (hammered) went down to the beach and shot 45s at the moon over the water (loud.)

One fourth of July a bunch of us went late to a display and somehow ended up closer to the zone than the crowd, and stood right under where the shells were exploding. I remember 'coming to' on my knees. I felt hammered into the earth by the explosions.

I still love the smell of gunpowder - the sulfuric smoke. But in our 5 1/2 years here have avoided buying ANY fireworks at the many stands open in the next counties for 10 days twice each year. And I don't know why.

Maybe if they sold Cherry Bombs?

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