I’ve always been a fan of colorful light effects like creative Christmas displays or fireworks on Independence Day. With the latter, the loud boom can be distracting and somewhat scary – especially to a small child.
One 4th of July around ’81 or ’82, my parents packed me and my brother up in the family car, headed to the local high school parking lot. Mama passed around the sandwich bags full of popcorn she’d popped on the stove earlier. Daddy turned on the radio, but only static blared. He’d turn it off, grumbling about the lack of stations. So we’d share small chit chat inbetween munching kernels.
Then BOOM! A thunderous noise rocked my soul, and caused me to spill my popcorn. Mama passed cotton balls to the backseat to help drown out the sound. I grabbed them, but my brother, Kenneth, declined. I still heard the noise. But not near as cringeworthy.
Kenneth laughed at my fear at first. Then he’d turn into a more caring sibling by pointing to the sky. I guess he thought the sight would distract me from the sound. And it actually did.
One firecracker after another lit the pitch black country sky while the smell of sulphur waft in the air. My excitement grew with each colorful flare.
At the end of the night, we’d drive home discussing which firework was the best. Really they were no different, other than color. Back then, displays weren’t as creative with music and strategic pyrotechnics like they are now. I didn’t care though. I just loved the pretty colors.
So tomorrow, I’ll continue the tradition with hubby – sans cotton balls and skillet popcorn. I’m looking forward to this year’s imaginative displays. The setting will be different because I live in the city now. But during the booms and sizzles, I’ll remember the little country girl…and smile.