Whoo Hoo! It's that time of year again, when the quiet of the morning is uplifted with crackling firecrackers,
and the occasional familiar Piccolo Pete whistle!
There was always a sense of anticipation when you would see the Red Devil Fireworks stands
starting to pop up all over town.
Those stands were such a magical thing, and there was something about the glow of the exposed light bulbs, the red, white, and blue packages and the wafting smell of gun powder and starter punks in the air.
There was always that hope that your Dad might spring for the deluxe assortment box with the extra giant cones, and maybe a roman candle or two or three! "Roman Candle? No, they don't sell those here!" Can we get the big box then?!
Of course we had to have a few boxes of sparklers! They used to only come in a brilliant white, but in later years, we could buy sparklers that threw off red, or green sparks. What fun, spinning them round and round, or writing your name in the air with the brightly glowing and spitting sparkler stick.
I was always mesmerized by the snakes. They always seemed the most difficult to light and my Dad would say, "That's going to make a mark on the sidewalk", so we would "grow" our snakes on the edge of the driveway. How did they do that?! Those long winding black sooty snakes would curl and just keep on growing like a Phoenix, from that little round disk.
One of the last fireworks to be pulled from the box was the little, put together yourself, "Clipper Cabin". Oh! What does it do?!... well.... My Dad always carefully assembled the little country cabin and lit the cone... and we waited... and waited... and the chiminey started smoking. Ahhhh. Peace on the Frontier,,, until we'd ignite the whole thing and it would burn in a blaze of glory! lol
And then there was Joe.
He wasn't one of the flashy, sparkly, glowing, fizzing and whistling fireworks. You simply unfolded his little cardboard stand and lit his Hobo stogie and watched the glowing embers.
Unlike the cabin, we extinguished his cigar before it got too close to his face.
But... I guess Joe was at the heart of the "Safe and Sane" Red Devil campaign and from a simpler time.
I don't know why, but "Smokey Joe" was one of my all time favorites. :-)
Wishing everyone a wonderful
4th of July!