Tag: Fireworks

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For Independence Day, on the Fourth of July, I offer a list of posts this weekend on topic. Some posts may be about celebrations and observances. Some may be about history. There will surely be food and drink posts, music posts, and hopefully fireworks! How about a favorite recital of the Declaration of Independence? What […]

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Rob Long is in for Jim Geraghty again.  He and Greg rip into far left activist Shaun King for wanting all “European” depictions of Jesus torn down and discuss that the real target of many on the far left is not just religious artwork but the church itself.  They also weigh in on why many police are doing nothing to stop the vandalism and destruction of statues and monuments and they address the political debate arising on the right about whether the police ought to clamp down and protect these properties or whether images of endless rioting are going to lead to more votes for Republicans in November.  And they have fun with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did nothing about rioting but is now on the warpath against illegal fireworks dealers.

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Before our home rested on the edge of a four-lane highway, it was surrounded by orange groves. And even later, long after we’d moved, it was converted to a Vietnamese Buddhist temple. It was a small house, three bedrooms and originally one bath before my parents added a bathroom onto their small master bedroom. And […]

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An Elimination Thought Experiment, Courtesy of Guy Fawkes


Welcome to that most British of holidays–Bonfire Night–Guy Fawkes Night–the Fifth of November. The holiday that, when I was a kid, was exponentially bigger than Halloween, as for a few days before, children would push around a wheelbarrow laden with a straw-stuffed effigy of Guido Fawkes, usually dressed in their father’s cast-offs or scrapings from the bottom of the charity clothes-barrel, shouting “penny for the guy!” collecting their small change, buying a few fireworks with it, and then, dizzy with excitement, setting a bonfire ablaze, throwing the “traitor” onto it and watching him crackle and dance, before setting off their Roman candles, Catherine wheels, and sparklers in a gluttony and excess of high spirits.

Why do I call it the most British of holidays? Because, in the best tradition of my countrymen and our spirit of inestimably fair play, it celebrates the underdog. The failure. The one who couldn’t. The one who didn’t. The one who wasn’t even really the leader of the plot, just an also-ran who got caught in the crossfire. We’re really serious about that sort of thing. As with so many failures, human and otherwise, we embrace Guy Fawkes and clutch him to our bosoms, refusing to let go. We write books about him.  We make television programs about him. We love him. (Stay tuned. Wouldn’t surprise me if, in another 413 years, the UK will be celebrating “Brexit Night” every June 23, carting around dummies dressed like Theresa May (kitten heels and all), and setting fire to them with the most ecologically-sound fossil-fuel alternatives they can find, to celebrate the day that Britain voted to leave the EU, and then, you know, didn’t.)

The Great Fireworks Show of 1995


fireworksIt all started near the end of our senior year of high school — the unofficial Senior Skip Day, to be precise. My best friend and I took off for a bit of joyriding in the Mohican Valley in his overhauled pumpkin orange ’78 Chevy pickup on a beautiful and sunny Tuesday morning in late May.

Graduation was just two weeks off, we had some cash set aside, and so when not scaring old Volvo station wagons as we slid and bounced through the twists and turns of the gravel roads, we aimed for a little fireworks shop you could pass a hundred times without knowing it was there. We signed the “liar’s form,” dropped our cash, and walked out with some packs of saturn missiles, some mini mortars, a six-pack of Black Cat shells, and some fountains, then pointed the nose of the truck towards the cabin and set about trying to get airborne on some of the humps and crossroads. We may also have braced one of the mortars against the truck door and aimed it in the general direction of some cows.

So began our love affair with fireworks. We used some of the goodies at graduation parties (although we had to abort at my friend’s party because a police chopper dropped a spotlight on us before we could start — he lived in the city), and fired the rest off the night of the fourth. My parents lived out in the country, so my dad (himself a fireworks devotee) let us light ’em up after dark. The Black Cat shells were particularly impressive, giving us multi-colored star bursts and aerial crackling. We wanted more, but August had us going our separate ways to different colleges. Still, we agreed to put some money aside for a more impressive show come New Year’s. While watching the stars and screamers burst over the snowy fields, my father made us an offer: He would sponsor us to put on the show to end all shows on July 4.



tankAre fireworks allowed in your area? If so, which did you enjoy this New Year’s? Which were disappointments that you wish you’d burned before you payed for them?

What fireworks of yesteryear earned their places in Valhalla? Have you forgiven your parents yet for black snakes? Is your closet full of poppers and candy cigarettes?

Speak now or forever hold your powder!