Monday, July 04, 2011
Happy 4th, 2011
Something a little different this year. Inspired by A Year in Pictures, I decided to shoot my fireworks this year in black and white. It helped to concentrate to block out the (very) annoying musical soundtrack some dude was playing next to me. I'm a purist, preferring oohs and aahs of small children and even adults to the mish-mash of country music, excerpts of speeches from the former President, and a Sousa clip or two. Which runs into another preference of mine: Sousa should be played by big marching bands with swinging epaulets and shiny brasses, not crammed into a tinny radio speaker.
So we sat on the lawn, gazing up over the trees that have grown taller each year, saying things like, "Remember when we first started coming here, how there were no trees in our way?" We had positioned our lawn chairs just right, allowing the dark shadow of a palm tree to block the streetlight's glare.
A few thundering explosions of green, yellows, red, and those white lights that go all wiggly-like as the embers burn out. Then it all stopped. Dead stop. We got up and wandered to where we could see the mountain where the fireworks are launched; it was being traversed by a sinewy, fiery snake of flames. We watched for a while, told the dude with the music that the mountain was on fire, then grabbed our chairs and drove further downtown to see if we could see the fire. We were going against traffic, their shining headlights another sinewy snake made of double-eyes. We tried to photograph the fire, but no--you had to be there.
We made our way across town this time and saw people lining the streets gazing up at the mountain, neighbors gathered sprawled in lawn chairs, some men shirtless in the heat. Remnants of barbecues, the coals glimmering and the ice chests nearby. We dodged spinning firecrackers thrown into the street, laughing at the whoops and shrieks when firecrackers exploded. "These are our peeps, Dave," I said and he gave some sound like--maybe yours, but not necessarily mine--but then nodded in agreement. Our peeps. Our town. Our smoking mountain now being doused by water cannons from flashing trucks high up on the ridge.
Back home, relaxing, I heard the thudding of launchers some ninety minutes after the beginning. I holler to Dave to come and see and we stand gazing out the upstairs bedroom window, watching the second half of the interrupted show. Still some trees in our way, but the best sounds come through: thudding cannons and our oohs and aahs at the brilliant lights, high up in our hometown sky.
at 10:55 PM