I Want REAL Fireworks
I noticed all those booths selling fireworks were popping up around town a few days ago. Now they're being stocked and manned selling those silly safe and sane fireworks. Big whoopie.
I guess in my early days I was probably as amused as any other kid with the lame safe and sane fireworks, but I really liked the ones that went BANG, like bottle rockets, m80s, firecrackers and such. Those are the real fun ones. Naturally, they're illegal in California.
But not everywhere. I spent a little time on the Hoquim Indian Reservation in Washington back in the late '70s. They sold real fireworks on the reservation. The one I liked in particular was a rocket about 6 inches tall. You'd set it on the ground, light the fuse and up it would go. It would probably go thirty or forty feet, if memory serves me correct, before exploding. Lots of fun those were.
When I lived in Southern California real fireworks were fairly common, people smuggling them in from Mexico.
I did that once myself when we went to Tijuana. I bought a small stash of real fireworks consisting mostly of m80s and those small round, red ball shaped things with a fuse in them. The name of those red ball things escapes me now (cherry bombs?) but they were neat cause they made quite a boom when they exploded and, being round, were perfect for throwing.
I remember being scared to death crossing the border and pulling up to the customs guys. They just asked a few questions of my mom and let us through. Thinking back, I'm sure from whatever look I had on my face they probably knew I had something on me I was smuggling in but let us go anyway.
Later on, when we went to Ensenada, I visited a store with all kinds of skyrockets. They were like a one or two foot firecracker attached to a four to six foot stake. I guess those were the equivalent of the kind used for fireworks shows in the states. Too big to try and bring back home with me but I thought it would have been fun to put on my own fireworks show sometime.
Some people are keeping the spirit of real fireworks alive in California, like this guy (as always, if asked for a login on the SacBee site, you can use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for the password).
He had the equivalent of two flatbed trucks worth of illegal fireworks stored in his house. As much I love the illegal stuff, I'm not sure I'd want someone living next door to me with all that many boomers. Sure wouldn't mind getting hold of those m80s, though.
I believe Security National has been paying for the Eureka 4 July show the last few years. Arcata didn't think it had the money to do a show this year but it looks like someone found a way to make it happen.
Silly thing about fireworks shows up here is that, all too often, the fog comes in just as it gets dark and you can't hardly see the show unless you're right under it.
Rather than fight the crowds, I used to just go out and sit on the roof of my truck to watch the Eureka show. You could see it just looking north on E street. Not all that well, but you could see it. Seemed like most of the time the fog would come in just before the show started and that would be the end of that.
I think it was a couple of years ago we were invited to watch the Eureka show from on top of the Vance Hotel. First time I'd actually bothered to go down and watch it. It was a spectacular show, indeed.
I'd be a bit leery of spending money on something like a fireworks on Humboldt Bay, if it was my money, just because of the fog. For people that really look forward to the fireworks shows up here, it's a good thing someone is willing to go ahead and take that risk.