Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Jul 4, 2006


It drizzled threateningly, but we had fireworks. The Fourth of July has always been a particularly remarkable celebration for me, simply because it changes so much from year to year. The venue is different, the circumstances are different, the fireworks and the people are different, marking stops on the steady progression of my life. I have so many memories.

Eating grapes and fried chicken on a grassy lawn dotted with trees in Chicago. Driving across a bridge in St. Louis and getting out of the car to watch the Arch over the river as they lit up the sky. Sitting on the deck at my grandparents' home and watching five or six different displays all over Seattle with binoculars. Leaning off the roof of the hospital to see around a building that was in exactly the wrong place. Sitting in a parking lot on the post in Bremerhaven less than forty-eight hours from the time I'd finally return to the U.S. Staring up at the Washington Monument as it slowly grew dark. Lying back on a hill at Virginia Tech, feeling like I might fall off into the sky. Even being importuned by some very persistant bugs in Hawaii.

I even remember the times I failed to see the fireworks, like three (was it really three?) years ago when I convinced all my friends to try and get onto Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (which is always really crowded), and we arrived almost exactly when the heavens blasted us with fireworks of their own and, lo, it did hail and rain like some sort of Biblical disaster. We decided it was probably best if we did not try to get out of the car.

Fond moments, all, bright and clear as fire, brief and definite as punctuation.


Nancy said...

You have a good memory. However, perhaps the most spectacular display was when (supposedly) a bottle rocket set off the whole shebang on the ground in Aurora. 90 seconds or so of wham-bang fireworks on the ground, then ... nothing. That was it. I believe it was 1981, so you were too young to remember, but I sure do. And they moved the fireworks to a different place the next year -- no surprise to anyone.

Jennifer Snow said...

I think I almost remember it, but more likely I'm remembering a different year and associating it with the story, which I've heard several times before.