Friday, July 3, 2009

July Fourth Memories

It's good to be back. I spent a few days last week at the 'vacation' house of a friend of mine, and did a bit of mowing and fixing while I was there.

While I was not watching television or surfing the Web, I started thinking about July Fourth celebrations I'd been at, or heard about.

Oakwood, just down the road, puts on a fine Independence Day fireworks display. When I was growing up, the family would go there every year, say 'OOH,' 'AAH,' swat mosquitoes and, sometimes, listen to my father tell about his teen years and the Foggton July Fourth fireworks show that ended early.

As he told it, that Independence Day had started with a heavy overcast, so that by the time the display was supposed to start, around local sunset, it was already quite dark. Then it started to drizzle on the people in River Park.

The organizers should probably have canceled right then. The drizzle hadn't dampened people's spirits (sorry: I couldn't resist that), but it had a bad effect on the fireworks. The mortars should have been lobbing shells high above the crowd. Instead, fiery flowers were going off so low that hot, glowing pieces were hitting the ground.

Then one of those flash-and-bang shells shot up, fell back, hit the ground and exploded.

My father says the people in front of him stood out like black cutouts for a moment. It was as if a lightning bolt had struck.

That ended the show.

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