Fireworks of My Youth

July 15, 2008 at 10:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

So, the 4th of July has come and gone. We spent the weekend visiting with my family. My brother who is in the militay was home on leave. As mentioned in my previous post, his birthday in on July 4th, and we have always made a big to do for his birthday. Fireworks have been a long running tradition for this day. As we have gotten older our fireworks displays have gotten a bit bigger. But no matter how big and fancy they get, there is one particular year that will always stand out.

Several years ago, I believe it was the first summer after we moved to Tennessee, we purchased our annual display. My family didn’t have much money so our purchase of fireworks was not that big. It was made up of mostly jumping jacks, those flower thingies, and bottle rockets. The bottle rockets were more for the amusement of our dog that we had at the time who loved to chase and bark at them. He pretty much enjoyed all fireworks and usually woke the day after the 4th with many burns on his mouth and nose from trying to play with them. But my story is not about our firework loving dog. So I will move on.

As I said previously, the majority of our stash that year contained jumping jacks. Now, my brother liked to buys these, not for the cool changing colors, but for the amusement of throwing them to watch them bounce and whirl and act a bit crazy. He especially liked to throw them at people to watch them bounce and whirl and act as crazy as the fireworks themselves.

Our first year that we lived here, we lived in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of town. Across the road from us was an older couple. The gentleman that lived there would often spend the evenings sitting on his car port, smoking his cigarettes, watching the kids play and reading his newspaper.

It was slightly before dusk when we ventured outside with our bags full of pyro goodies. We began the evening’s festivities lighting bottle rockets for the dog to chase while we waited for the sun to set completely. As dusk turned to dark, we began to break out the good stuff. We lit a few flowers and jumping jacks, a tank or two, some roman candles, etc.

Eventually, my brother decided it was time to throw the fireworks. He got a pack of jumping jacks out and one by one lit them and flung them haphazardly in the street watch them bounce and dance in the low glowing street lights. If you threw one just right you could get the street light closest to our house to go out which made the evening’s festivities all the better. Well, as luck would have it my brother managed to do just that.

Having gone through a couple of packets of jumping jacks, he began digging in the bag for something new to light. What he brought out was one of those colorful flower thingies that change from red, to green, to orange. Any how, he pulled it out and pondered it for a minute.

“Watch this,” he chirped as he lit the fuse and threw it.

Anyone who knows anything about fireworks knows that the flowers are quite a bit bigger than the jumping jacks. As he flung it into the road it hit with quite a bit of force and bounced…straight into a rock. It bounced again becoming airborne whirling and whizzing through the air straight into the carport of the older couple that live across the street. Unbeknownst to us, the old guy that lived there had apparently come out to watch us with our fireworks. In fact, the only reason that we happened to notice him was because we noticed the green glow of the flower beaming off the top of his head as it hovered there briefly before bouncing off the side of his brick home. It landed under his car changing to orange still bopping along in frolicking dance. Shortly, thereafter, it came to rest under the car.

As we stood there watching, we tried to stifle our laughs of amusement at the scene that had just unfolded in front of us. While there was much concern and relief that our neighbor had not been injured by this rogue flower, we couldn’t help but be amused by the vision of green glowing off the top of his balding head.

I assume he heard our snickering, or perhaps he felt the need to go potty after his close call with the crazed firework, because he wasted no time getting up from his seat yelling something at us about damn kids and being more careful and went inside where he spent the rest of the evening. We continued to light the rest of our bag of goodies.

There isn’t a 4th of July that doesn’t pass that we don’t bring that story up. It never gets old, and to this day the vision of the glowing green on his head still brings a smile to my face.















  1. tallpaul shelton said,

    i guess you will always remember the first bag of fireworks that you and your brother took out at dark to enjoy a show. the jumping jacks are a lot of fun.

    thanks for the memories.

    tallpaul shelton,

  2. SueBoo said,

    I have always loved the flowers. I would have aid an admission to watch that flower glowing on that mans head! HILARIOUS I tell ya!

  3. Bookmarks about Fireworks said,

    […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by mcburger on 2008-10-18 Fireworks of My Youth – bookmarked by 5 members […]

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