Tuesday, June 28, 2005

WTW: Fireworks

White Trash WednesdaysWhen we was little, it was always great to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. You got to remember, that was a big deal. July in Georgia is hot during the day and the night, and anything to break up the grind was always good.

When you're little, you don't always appreciate things for their real meaning. July 4th meant fireworks. Of course, today, it also means the Firecracker 400. Some folks call it the "Pepsi 400" but those are Jeff Gordon-loving Pepsi-Cola-drinking, Britney Spears-listening dumbasses. The race on the Fourth of July is the Firecracker 400. And it always will be. To real men, anyway.

But when I was little, I didn't watch NASCAR races. They didn't have none of them around my home town. Now, they'd have some races on some small tracks around, and some local folks, mostly folks that drove wreckers during the week, or had a shop out back of their house, would race on those tracks. Others just lined up on the by-pass and raced each other, but those weren't legal. Still ain't legal, but folks don't do it as much anymore.

But, when the Fourth of July come along, we'd all get excited about watching the fireworks. And one July, I was spending time over at Basil's house and they was going to the fireworks that night.

The fireworks was held at the football stadium. The football stadium was used eight times a year. Sometimes more, if the high school team made the playoffs. But they'd have six home games (schedule called for five, but they always bought out one of the schools over in Savannah that had a team that sucked, so that made it six). They'd have graduation, which made it seven. And they'd hold the Fourth of July fireworks, which made eight.

And we always enjoyed the fireworks. The guys would run out in the middle of the field and set one off. It'd go up in the air with a SSSSSSTTTT! Then it'd get quiet. Then it'd pop and bright lights streaming off in a bunch of directions. The crowd would go "Ooooh!" Then polite applause. Then the sky went dark.

Then the the guy would run out into the middle of the field again and set one off. SSSSSSTTTT! Silence! Pop! Lights. "Ooooh!" Dark.

And so on.

Then, when the guy got tired, he'd run out in the middle of the field and set off whatever he had left. They'd all explode at around the same time, everyone would would cheer, then everyone went home.

That was the Fourth of July fireworks back then.

But I figured, heck, I could do that. So one day, I did. I called all the neighbors over, we burned a big pile of wood and trash and put hot dogs on coathangers and cooked 'em.

Then, I brought out the fireworks I had bought the day before over in South Carolina. I set them up a safe distance from the house ... oh, must have been 20-30 feet ... and started the show.

Bit of free advice: It's never a good idea to mix alcohol and fireworks, especially in a state where fireworks are illegal.

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