When it comes to fireworks, I’m like a little child.
I know exactly what the Fourth of July is about. I can recite part of the Declaration of Independence even now, years after learning it in school. But if I’m going to be honest, I don’t look forward to Independence Day because it celebrates the inalienable (unalienable?) rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I just want a few big, window-shaking booms.
I was always at summer camp over the Fourth of July, so I often had the doubtful enjoyment of watching Cedar Point’s fireworks from about 15 miles away. If it wasn’t cloudy. Most of the time, the lightning bugs were brighter. And more fun. You can’t hold an exploding firecracker in your hand … unless you like the ER doctor.
The real booms came when I got back home and could catch some of the weekend displays in surrounding towns. They were small towns. You could sit almost as close as you wanted to the fireworks spot. Which made an otherwise simple fireworks show seem bigger than imaginable to a 10-year-old.
All of us kids usually got to go see the fireworks together. As the oldest child, I got the privilege of helping Mom dole out the sparklers we’d bring. As the oldest child, I also took the liberty of giving myself an extra two or three on a few occasions. I love my inalienable rights.
Then the first shot was fired. I sometimes pretended I was watching the British ships bombard Fort McHenry like in the National Anthem. Why I imagined Fort McHenry was located somewhere along the Big Dipper, I don’t know.
“BOOM!” There went one of the standard fireworks that look like dandelions ready to lose their seeds. The British are attacking!
“BOOOOOM!” And there’s one of the deep bass fireworks that’s not much more than a flash of light, but better than a rock concert for stopping your heart. The colonists are returning fire!
“Xxxxxx!” You figure this one out.
So, after all the parades, races and fish fries wrap up, I give you one guess where I’ll be tonight.
– Sarah Einselen
Friday columnist / Might be a pyro