Monday, July 21, 2008

4th of July

Sometime between work, drive, and Woodyfest, there was the 4th of July. Amazingly, the 'fireworks' setting on my little Optio W30 really does work when you use a beach chair umbrella as a monopod. The fireworks at my friends' party out in the country were pretty astounding. They couldn't even fit the booty in a wheelbarrow to get it down the road to shoot off.... no, it was such a cache that they had to take the pickup. It was better than many of the fireworks displays put on by my hometown when I was a kid.

Bethalto used to have a "homecoming" fair on Labor Day weekend and a some-other-kind of fair over 4th of July. I guess it still does. Midway, games, mud, wood chips, funnel cakes, contests, etc. Our church always had this big food and beer booth (Catholic, of course) and ladies from the 140 Club would fry up about a million of their famous chickens to serve. Parishioners were expected to donate either their first fresh tomatoes to sell as sides or their first born children to serve and clean. Like bingo slave duty and mandatory fashion show babysitting, I mostly got out of having to help, being the precociously mouthed wild card that I was. Unfortunately, the tomatoes were sacrificed for our Lord's luncheon sales. This left me time to ride the tilt-a-whirl and play skee ball until my money was gone, then sneak off to the arboretum to hang out under my favorite trees and read, write or sketch until it was time for the fireworks. Poor little fireworks. A few roman candles and about eight sky-worthy shells; maybe a few peonys and if we were lucky a couple of spiders. But it was what we had and we ooooo-ed and aaaaaahhh-ed like it was New Years in Chinatown. Sometimes, I guess it's okay not to know any better, if only to preserve what's left of the magic.

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