Sunday, July 5, 2009

I REMEMBER...4th of July & fireworks

the 4th of July [unsafe and insane method] when I was a kid. Not much has changed except that fireworks were cheaper and more spectacular when I was a kid [or it seems in my memory banks]. This year, I took my daughter Sarah [age 10…almost 11] to the fireworks stand to buy fireworks for our 4th celebrations. Every 4th has to have sparklers, regardless of the age of the revelers. When we asked for sparklers, we were told: “Those are illegal, we only have Morning Glories".

Wikipedia: Sparklers, or hand-held fireworks, are a popular part of many Fourth of July celebrations, and a familiar cause of injuries, particularly in little children. More accidents are caused by sparklers than any other fireworks”…internet July 2009.

The main difference that I can see between the two is the metal core on the sparkler vs. a wood core on the Morning Glory and the sparklers lasted longer with a bigger shower of sparks. Today, when you were done with the “sparklers,” you put them into a bucket of water…very safe, very sane. When I was a kid in Oklahoma, with cherry bombs, ladyfingers, bottle rockets, roman candles, real sparklers, etc., we must have practiced the unsafe and insane method. I can’t tell you how many times I stepped barefoot on a fiery hot metal sparkler someone threw into the grass (all small children in Oklahoma, back in the day were not required to wear shoes until school started in September (except for Sunday school).

SIDE NOTE: the freshly tarred road in front of our house was a great playground, running around barefoot and popping hot tar bubbles with your toes. The downside of this Midwest traditional 50’s kid’s activity is that you had to sit still while your mom scrubbed your tarred feet with gasoline or kerosene to get them clean. We didn’t have cell phones or pagers or wear watches to tell time. After dinner, we could play outside until the street lights came on; that was the signal to go home. We loved to watch the bats swoop in and out around the street lights sucking up mosquitoes and bugs. I used to play in the ditch across the street often and even caught a baby cottonmouth water moccasin (rattler) and put it into a glass mason jar and freaked my Mom out…I got strict orders not to do that again.

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