I miss living in a city where fireworks are legal. I understand why they’re illegal in most places nowadays; people can be idiots, especially when fireworks and alcohol are involved.
I remember the days of going to the local fireworks stand, peering through the mesh cage and picking out individual fireworks to be bagged up for the Fourth of July. I loved all of the bright colors on the packaging; those fireworks stands sure knew how to market their product to us kids.
The Piccolo Petes and the Ground Bloom Flowers were my favorites; the volume of the Petes and the action of the Flowers couldn’t be matched by any other firework. The pinwheel-like fireworks were always a treat as well, as long as the adults could find something to nail them on. We kids weren’t interested in the setup. Just give us the show.
If we were lucky and our parents had enough money, we’d buy one of the pre-packaged boxes of fireworks that offered more bang for your buck. There would always be the great big cones that launched multi-colored waves of sparks high into the July evening. There would also be a few boxes of the “snakes,” those growing ashes of mess that me and my brothers called duds. We spelled it B-O-R-I-N-G.
Once in a while someone would score some real fireworks, the illegal ones from Chinatown: firecrackers and bottle rockets. These didn’t have the flair of the legal fireworks, but they had that element of danger to them, whether it was a loud bang or a towering shot toward the moon.
I miss fireworks in the backyard, but during Independence Day my family is all about barbecuing, lounging at the pool, and watching the city-sponsored fireworks from the comfort of the backyard. No setup, just a show.