I really do love fireworks. I have loved them since I was a little girl in Gunnison. We didn’t have the big boomers people shoot off at home and there was only one firework show – and it was on the Fourth of July at the Western State College Football bowl. We did have sparklers and the occasional small fountain — but what we really waited for every year was the show put on by the Lions Club.
We would pop grocery bags full of popcorn and grab a can of Shasta cola for the show. We sprayed ourselves down with lots of mosquito repellent (didn’t want to get eaten alive while we were enjoying the show!). We would lay on the grassy hills which surrounded the football field and wait for that special moment – the first big BANG!
The show wasn’t just aerial bombs – but also included a field show with shapes that would light up and reveal a chicken or a duck or a cow. There was also the crowd favorite – Niagara Falls — a waterfall of sparks flowing the field – just like the real thing. This was all accompanied by the local organist – along with narration. There would be 15 minutes of ground show and then while they set up the new extravaganzas – we would have about 15 minutes of bursts of color in the air. Again – these had the organ music – but the best part was the description given by the narrator. As the flower would bloom in the sky, we would hear “This is a double-blooming peony” or “A golden chrysanthemum” — they were always wonderful things from a lovely heavenly garden.
The show would last about 1-2 hours and we would all go home with smiles of wonderment and lots of mosquito bites – but always with an anticipation for next year’s show.
Now — the fireworks start a week before the Fourth of July. Every single neighborhood has a huge display – and they are all aerial bombs – no narration and only sometimes do they have music. And these are just the organized shows — we also have all of the individuals in the neighborhood who have obviously spent their entire July paycheck on the fireworks! So, for at least a week before the big day, you will hear fireworks going off until 2-3 a.m.
Fireworks have lost their glamor and their allure – because we do them all of the darn time! Let’s go back to the shows which were only on the Fourth – the ones that told a story or painted a picture of a beautiful garden. I know we are celebrating our wonderful Country’s birthday — but just like our children’s birthdays — let’s only celebrate it for one day and let’s do it right!