We're mad for the Fourth here because we are pyroGEEKS. Mr. D buys his very own (he knows a guy who knows a guy who gets "special" fireworks that are legal in 2 countries) and blasts them off in our back yard each year. We watch the city fireworks and festival fireworks. We're connoisseurs of the art of pyrotechnology. We rate shows based on length, volume, ground display, assortment, variety and effect. We know the difference between glitter and flitter. (Told you we are geeks.) I've seen fireworks in a tiny Iowa town, in a Major League ballpark, at Disney World and even in London to celebrate the opening of the Millennium Bridge. (That last show was particularly spectacular with synchronized explosions taking place on both sides of the bridge.) I love the huge blasts, the reverb of BOOM in my chest, the snapping crackling ones, the rockets that soar before becoming a chrysanthemum of color against the night sky, the Roman Candles that gently Pouf-Pouf-Pouf as they arc above us.
But every year as I'm parked on the lawn, reeking of OFF and gazing at the sparkling lights, I recall The Best Fireworks Ever. It's inevitable to reflect on all the fireworks one has seen, but the most magical show was back in 1976 (or thereabouts).
When I was little my best friend CC was a princess wedged between two brothers and she had a pink ruffled bedroom, kinky brown hair and a penchant for theater. She had a big grin, a huge imagination and her mom made the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches (which years later I identified as being made from white bread and Velveeta--who knew?). CC's father sailed and my dad sailed with him, CC's folks were actually family friends, but in my mind CC and I had a more exclusive sort of relationship.
The Best Fireworks Ever exploded off the shore of Sheboygan, WI and that 4th of July CC and I reclined on the bow of her dad's sailboat, gently and rhythmically bobbing on Lake Michigan. Sated with grape Jolly Good soda (a whole can for each of us!) and Jiffy Pop Popcorn (prepared in the boat's twee galley atop a small gas stove with 3 burners), we were twin sisters stuffed in our sweatshirts and bright orange life jackets.
From our spot overlooking Lake Michigan we watched the fireworks shot off in the harbor. The fireworks shimmered above us in the sky and below us, reflected on the water. CC and I planned our future that night--how we'd sail around the world alone on a boat, just the two of us, and become Rich and Famous and Fearlessly Adventurous. She'd become an actress/singer/TV star, I'd become a poet/dancer/artist and we'd wear shiny dresses like the Mandrell Sisters (she was always Barbara, I was Louise because I had dark hair). We'd travel to every country in the world and be Fabulous.
We were young and anything was possible from that perch between the expanse of Lake Michigan and the starry sky.
No fireworks I've seen since measure up to the amazing show that night.
Spill it, reader. What's your best fireworks memory?