Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy America Day!

Since I was at the river for the holiday I'm a little late in saying
or 4th of july if you prefer.

When I got home from the river I had an email from my parents about a story my grandma used to tell. I haven't ever heard it, so I was glad to it was passed along to me. It's a cute story - see for yourself.


    Thirty some years ago, my mother told me this tale of her childhood. 
She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in l894. This took place sometime
at the end of the l890’s or l900. Picture, if you will, brick row houses in the south part of Omaha, on the fourth of July. Several families decided to have their own pyrotechnics display. Three or four young family men pooled a dollar or two and proceeded to the local fireworks stand. It was late on the fourth and they got everything for half price. I can well image that they got a whopping big box of same. When I was about ten I received a fireworks catalog and sent off for about $5.00 worth, which arrived in a box approximately 4 feet by l foot by l foot. 

     Dark approached and all the ladies brought chairs out to the back yard.
Children were gathered and arranged around the mothers.  The fathers prowled around the box of rockets, roman candles, firecrackers and assorted other fireworks. Several rounds of works were set off – but one of the gentlemen was a nervous sort, smoking a big cigar and casting ashes here and there. You guessed it. Somehow an ash dropped into the box and the whole smear went up at once. Rockets whooshing – Firecrackers popping.  Wow! The ladies gathered the children up and ran for safety, while the men manned the garden hoses to prevent the houses from going up also. No one was injured but it sort of took the pleasure out of the fourth celebration – however, one that was long remembered.

     The local nearby park had planned a fireworks celebration. The patrons of the park said later that their display didn’t hold a (roman) candle to the impromptu display at the row houses.

     When my mother told me this – we nearly died laughing. We held our sides. We wiped our eyes. It still brings a big grin to my face when I recall this story and the pleasure I had sharing it with my late mother.

Joan D. Kailey
June 2005

I hope you enjoyed your holiday as much as I did!