Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Dad On The Fourth Of July

Second only to Christmas decorating, my dad loved celebrating the 4th of July. He enjoyed fireworks and, despite objections from our mother, always made sure that we had plenty to use around the house: Black Cat fire crackers, bottle rockets, smoke bombs, and, our favorite, Cherry Bombs.

In those days, you could blow things up with Cherry Bombs. Drop one down the drain pipe on the back of the house, BOOM!, no more drain pipe. A kid at school dropped one down the toilet, BOOM!, gotta get a new toilet.

We often camped for the Fourth, and there are lots of things to blow up at camp grounds, things like the trailer coupler on our camper, which dad didn’t realize, um, one of us had done until we were packed and ready to drive off.

Because Cherry Bombs were water proof, we loved lighting them and tossing them into the river, waiting for the BOOM! and the spray of water that seemed to go 20 feet high, soaking us.

When we weren’t camping, we often went to the drive in theater, where they had a big fireworks display between the two feature movies. I loved watching my dad watch the big fireworks. There was always a younger brother for him to hold, getting the baby to watch and imitate dad’s “ooooooh” with every new explosion.

As we got older, the Elk’s Lodge near us put on an annual fireworks display, and we would go there with nearly everyone in our small town. By then we were, you know, too big, too cool, to hang out with our parents, but I would often spot my dad in the crowd, leading the chorus of “ooooohs” and “aaaaaaahs” after every sparkling shower.

Did you have a dad like that?


  1. it is funny the things that you remember from being a kid- its not big things usually but the small things that are almost like a muscle memory for one.
    I enjoyed reading you and your wife's posts. The one about the Dali lama is particularly enjoyable.
    I am a kindergarten teacher and The Monster at the end of the Book is an all time favorite in my classroom. I recently got a DVD version of it from Scholastic though you can find it on You tube too.
    Keep on writing and blogging, I hope you will meet many wonderful friends from around the globe.
    Regards from Western Canada,

  2. Hi Anna from Canada. Thank you so much for the kind words. If you ever have a chance to see the Dalai Lama, do. It is good.

    You're right about little things. I once asked my two oldest, seperately, 14 and 12 at the time, what their favorite memory was and they both came up with the same one: a day five or six years before where we had filled a little hard plastic pool with water and a little swim turned into a water fight with younger siblings. We laughed an laughed.


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