On this Independence Day eve, here’s a distillation of a few prior posts.
Fireworks? Firecrackers? Cherry bombs? Should they be legal? In Wisconsin, fireworks stores seem to outnumber cows. Weekend festivities are often punctuated by the staccato of firecrackers or the magnificent boom of larger devices.
In 1956, the Hungarian Revolution began. And my 9 year old pals and I learned about Molotov cocktails. So – we filled a pop bottle with gasoline, stuffed a rag in the top and lit it — tossing the bottle into Weller creek. WOW!! Spectacular blast and flames (not to mention the bumblebee whiz of shards of glass and rocks).
We’d break open firecrackers, shake out the fulminate of mercury powder into cigar tubes with homemade fins, balance them on an incline and then light a fuse sending the “rocket” skyward or sometimes just bouncing along the ground (ending with an enormous explosion). We would grab handsful of match books at the local pharmacy and cut the heads off. And stuff match heads into thin pipes, shaking in the powder for more incendiary displays. And bombs. And cannons stuffed with BB’s held in place by dripping candle wax. And once a hand grenade – using Slaymaker lock dial. Every boy had a supply of firecrackers, cherry bombs, M-80’s and such. And my neighborhood was frequently ripped with massive explosions.
I am keenly aware of all of the arguments of some armchair howlers (“what about accidents?” “they can blow your finger off!”). Puh-lease. Wisconsin and 39 other states have got it right. Illinois – as usual – marches to the wrong drummer. On pretty much everything. . . . .