Saturday, July 4, 2020

Daddy and 4th of July Fireworks

Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was 5 years old, my parents finally trusted me with holiday fireworks.  Calling what they gave me "fireworks" was a real stretch.  Picture it:  a roll of cowboy gun caps and a sizeable hammer.

Add in the thrills and chills of a cylinder with a squat top and bottom to the mysteriousness  of a 1/2 in. tall, dark grey column.  I seem to remember they were called "Snakes." What did this cylinder DO when you set it on fire?  Daddy showed me how to do this.   Not much of anything.  The solid began to rise as a twisted cylinder of ash.  It curled out all over our front sidewalk.  Which brought my mother out in a fury.  "Vic - what are you doing?  That ..that thing is ruining our sidewalk!"  My Dad soothed her, "I'll clean it up, Orpha; don't worry about it" and they both went into the house.

Hitting caps with a hammer soon palled.  No matter how hard I hit a cap - or three, I soon caught on to stacking them.  Same result.  A sort of pooft sound.

The ash cylinder had worn out its welcome half an hour ago.   I wanted some noise!  That's what this holiday was all about.  So I started yelling, "Daddy!  Daddy!  I want some noise!" until he came out.  We discussed the situation.  Namely a silent 4th.

He grinned, patted me on the top of my head and walked back into the house.  Not seconds later, he was back carrying his .45, paused and put a round in our front yard.  My eyes as big as saucers probably, I said, "Daddy!  you shot the lawn!"  To which he responded, "You wanted noise," and grinned evilly.  My Mother had arrived by now and all but led him back into the house by the ear; squawking like an agitated hen the entire time.

Looking back, don't you agree it was a generous act on his part?  His darling daughter (my younger sister hadn't arrived yet) expressed a wish and Daddy of the Year complied.

Despite a lack of any discernible noise, you can see why it was a 4th to remember.  Whether a single infusion of lead hurt the lawn will never be known.

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