The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder




I don’t care much for fireworks. I don’t know if I ever really did. Seems like a lot of money to put up in smoke. And besides that, living just a couple miles out of town makes it a lot worse.

You see, most cities, especially if it is dry, outlaw fireworks within the city limits. That makes a lot of sense. If you live in that city and don’t want your house burnt down. I can sympathize with that.

But if you live just outside the city limits, it’s not a real good idea. We live a couple miles beyond the firewall. And it isn’t handy to stop at one of the fireworks stands, spend a pocket full of money, a pocket and a half because of the tariffs, drive down to the first good spot, and set off all these fireworks.

This happens to be by our house. It is disturbing if you are foaling mares, or happen to be a guy that goes to bed before dark. Kaboom! Up all night. But then again, maybe I’m just getting old.

But it reminded me of a Fourth long ago in Mandan. We had produced the big Mandan Rodeo Days celebration. And it was a great one! Thousands of people. Great rodeo! Awesome fireworks!

I suppose Carmen (our daughter) was about three or four. And I had a red heeler dog named Tyke. Now Tyke liked rodeos and he could handle those bucking bulls. Carm liked rodeos and parades. We were country folks; so neither one had seen many fireworks. Just a little once in awhile when I came home late from a poker or pinochle game. Which by the way, was not as often as Shirley remembers it to be.

Thousands of people showed up for the fireworks. You couldn’t leave if you had wanted to. Those big old cannons started spouting their fireworks and both Tyke and Carm started whining and crying. They spent the next hour huddled together in the pickup with the windows up, holding on to each other and knowing the world was ending.

Another great Fourth was about forty years ago at the Killdeer Rodeo arena. Oh, that was one of the best. People crowded in on that side hill to watch several thousand dollars worth the fireworks to be fired off. The fire department was on hand. The Lions Club was in charge. The first shell went straight up in the air, then straight down. Right into the stockpile of fireworks that was supposed to last two hours! It didn’t!

She was blasting and banging. The arena was lit up in a kaleidoscope of colors. Rockets were shooting in every direction. I have no idea how to spell that word. People were running for their lives. Some were covering their kids. Others were trying to protect their beer. It was awesome!

In a few seconds it was over. The Fourth had been celebrated the cowboy way. Kids looked at their mothers and asked if it was over already? And it was.

Oh, there was disappointment. But I’m willing to make a little wager. I’ll bet there isn’t a person that was at the “big blast” that has forgotten that display!

Later, Dean


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