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Duck-and-cover time in the Panhandle

July 16, 2010

Last week, I experienced my first Fourth of July here in the Panhandle. I’m not entirely sure I want to experience another, except perhaps from a safe distance.

Yes, there seemed to be a good lot of fireworks available at the six businesses open during the 10-day sales period. I just hadn’t quite been able to imagine what they would look like when they were exploding all over the city.

I only have a few pictures of the pyrotechnics, in part because my camera was full after a lovely trip to Wyoming. But it really wouldn’t have done any good. To truly understand Independence Day in Scottsing, you have to be here to experience it.

You need to smell the gunpowder cloud that settles over the city. You need to hear the constant, hours-long barrage of explosions after dark on the Fourth. (And I thought it was noisy in the 10 days prior to the holiday!) You need to look out on the horizon of the city and see the constant blooming of “artillery shells.” You need to run for your life when the neighbor’s lit artillery shell fails to launch and instead explodes at street level.

Here’s a scene from the horizon that night:

That just covers a fraction of a second over a few blocks. Imagine that multiplied by several miles and several hours.

In. Sane.

It hardly seemed worth watching the professional show. It was diluted by all the rest of the chaos.

I just laughed when I saw a YouTube video of someone getting all geeked out about some “illegal bottle rockets.” Psh. Child’s play.

Here, we have legal ARTILLERY SHELLS. These things scare me. They go up high, and explode with a significant bang and sparks. Lovely, but scary.

Thankfully, this year we got significant rain just before dark. I can’t imagine what a nightmare this would be in a drought situation. I know of people who always stayed home on the Fourth, garden hose in hand, just in case.

Me, I’m plenty happy with fountains that stay on the ground. Pretty, but less hazardous in my perception.

Coming from Illinois and Iowa where fireworks laws are more restrictive, I couldn’t resist buying a few fountains.

I got an Eiffel Tower one, and a creepy clown one.

The Eiffel Tower shot sparks higher than the garage roof, and changed spark colors as it burned. Very impressive! (No photo. My *%^# new camera has trouble figuring out what I want it to focus on.)

The clown fountain was pretty cool, too.

But what I really got it for was its finale.

Creeeeepy glowing clown face. Eeeek!

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 16, 2010 6:49 pm

    perfect description–

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