The ’hood smells like hell?
Ah, I love the smell of sulfur, nitrates and carbon in the morning. SNIFFF!
Breeeaathe in that fine ash still hanging in the air from all that black powder! Pack away those memories.
Oh, what? You are one of those “people” who don’t like fireworks? So you sure don’t like the Fifth of July then, with its lingering smoke and smells and spent shells and duds and a scorched patch of grass here and there.
When I was little, smoke just hugged the pastures around our place the morning of the Fifth. Coolish morning air at ground level helped it settle, I guess, just off the Cookson Hills to the north and down to the Arkansas River bottoms a couple of miles south. I grew up kind of on the edge of a bowl between the hills and the river.
I loved it. Halloween costumes got put away. Thanksgiving leftovers were just leftovers. Christmas wrapping paper was in the trash before everything was unwrapped. The fiery Fourth of July lingered at least until the smoky Fifth.
The Fifth of July isn’t quite the same in Edmond. It takes that bowl effect and the geography of southern Sequoyah County.
Living in town takes a lot of the fun out of the Fourth of July, actually. It makes fireworks a spectator sport — except for a relative few outlaws. Fun enough, I suppose.
But I used to have about as much fun on the Fifth of July as on the Fourth — picking up my own shot fireworks and the occasional dud, then trying to figure out a way to get them to blow. Not smart, but fun, as in: “Hey, y’all! Watch this!”
Speaking of: Here’s a genuine Fifth of July warning for anyone living in the country, or on an “acreage” — or in a city or suburban ’hood with more than a few municipal fireworks ordinance outlaws:
If you’re going to mow the yard, pick up all the empties first. The spent fireworks, too. (That’s a joke). Especially the sparkler wires.
I’m pretty sure I know what it feels like to get shot with a .22 — because on the Fifth of July 1970-something, there I was minding my own business, picking up spent fireworks in the yard and thwack! Something hit my bare leg. I thought a chigger got me good.
But there blood was, pouring out of not one, but two holes in my leg.
I. Freaked. Out.
Many tears and a quick trip to the doctor led to the conclusion: My big brother, mowing the yard, had flung a piece of a sparkler wire into, and out of, my leg.
The doc said it was a good thing that it didn’t hit bone and I had shorts on. Teasing bone, thread and fabric out of the entire width of my leg would have not been a fun way to spend the Fifth of July.
So, happy Fifth of July! But watch it.