We were lucky enough to be treated to a Fourth of July fireworks display this year. Safely on board a cruise liner with the family, we watched in awe as the forty five minute display exploded overhead from the Santa Catalina Island.
It was glorious, but I always feel a tinge wasteful whenever I see a fireworks display.
We began reminiscing about days gone by after the display, when living dangerously was allowed and fireworks were a real blast!!
Back when there weren't so many laws against doing stuff, back when you were a kid, Preadolescent children, cigarette lighters in one hand, explosives in the other. You'd wait all year.
"Hey, man, light this one . . . "
It comes back, this small memory of bottle rockets and firecrackers and other illicit flammables. An indelible moment of a childhood in another time, back when backyard fireworks did not have a bad reputation.
There was the sound of the match, smell of the gunpowder, the ppffftt , the feel of the bottle rocket taking off (or leaving your fingers, if you were dumb or daring), the dusk and the twilight.
Time for one more. You didn't watch someone else do it, and you didn't play it on a video game. Bang! The real thing.
Of course, we do not advocate the use of rocket-propelled explosives, even in modest amounts. Yes, Mom, we know, about 10,000 people are injured each year in fireworks-related incidents.
But is it wrong to miss the explosives of lost youth Back when things weren't so quality-controlled, at the beginning of summer when everything was possible and we'd all live forever.
Today, consumer fireworks sales are booming, up fivefold since 2000, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, but it's not the same, it's just not. What are these pyros spending all this money on
Do you remember the cherry bombs, the salutes, the Roman candles, bottle rockets, parachutes, buzz bombs, pinwheels, Catherine wheels, helicopters, jumping jacks, squibs and sparklers We would nail the Catherine Wheels to a tree and rush up in a fool hardy fashion to spin them if they stopped. Squibs were as about exciting as we ever knew, throwing a squib under Old Uncle Tom's chair was the top prize!!
Where are the soaring skyrockets of yesteryear, the whoosh that rattled the kitchen window, exploding in a star-burst above the trees
In the 'good old days' we would gather at someones home, or on the Milton Junior School playground, where a bonfire would be burned and a giant Guy Fawkes would be roasted alive!!
Do you remember bottle rocket fights, Roman candle wars
But how pervasive and fond the memory, the playing outside in the late dusk, the fireflies and bottle rockets and the blue-black of the sky descending, the flash of fireworks overhead, in your own yard. Perhaps it was no more a glorious summer than right now. Still, in the half-light of memory, the danger of it all seemed so safe.