Fireworks and a Small Town

I grew up in a town of 1,500, where stoplights have never existed and graduating with a class bigger than 32 is considered large.

Many of the people that inhabit the community were born there, went to school there, married there and raised their children there.

My parents are a great example of this – they both grew up in my hometown, were high school sweethearts, went to college, got married and eventually made their way back to this small town in which they had three kids who also grew up in this town.

One of the reasons I love this small town so much is because it IS a small town. You know everyone, they know you (this probably would also go on the negative list because knowing everyone means they know ALL of your business!)… very similar to the ‘Cheers’  theme song- where everyone knows your name!

In a small town, you don’t get big-name artists to come in and perform at your county fair, only the high school ‘it’ band from back in the late 1960’s. The one-and-only 5K race only brings in 30-50 competitors, rather than 6,000. And the local gas station closes precisely at 9 p.m. So if you’re wanting a Coke that you have been craving for hours, you better get there at 8:58 because they will not re-open the doors for you if you are there at 9:00.02.

Because I am from a small town, I grew up watching 4th of July fireworks on the 3rd of July (or 2nd or 5th, depending on what day the 4th was actually on – they wanted to get as many people out to watch the fireworks and the only way to achieve that was to NOT have them on the 4th!). When I was younger, my grandparents, mom, siblings and aunt Sally would load up and head to the Old City Lake, as would the rest of the town, and line our cars up in numerous rows on the east side of the lake to get a good view.

My dad and uncle Tim, who has been in charge of actually purchasing the big fireworks for the show, have never been able to watch them with us because they have always been apart of the crew that is in charge of getting the fireworks lit.

The way you knew the show was about to start was from the large ‘boom’ they would send up into the sky. And the way you knew it was over was when they threw their ginormous punks (or ‘flares’ as they call them in the biz) in the water!

It’s the small things in life, folks! 🙂

There has always been a rating system for the fireworks as well. They are all very pretty, but there are a few special fireworks – usually the ones that last an entire minute! – that get the cheers from the crowd, honks from the cars and this year, a toot of the blowhorn!

You must realize that this fireworks show isn’t like what you would see in the big city, or even at Copan Lake for that matter. But, in my eyes, it is still wonderful… and untouchable!

Per the yearly ritual, we pull up to the lake, give our small donation to Rodney (Dickens) and make our way to our usual spot. Now that I am older, and feel responsible enough to sneak in a few Bud Light Limes to this shindig, we sit on the west side of the lake with the hoodlums – the ones that continue to shoot off annoying fireworks while the real show has begun.

This year, I also decided to do a salute to Michael Jackson and played some “Billie Jean” on my iPhone for the crowd  that I sat near.

It was a beautiful night out and I’m glad that I, as I always have, was able to be there to celebrate the yearly tradition with my friends and family. I told my aunt that outsiders might not understand why I would choose this fireworks show over something put on in Wichita. The answer is because in Sedan, I get to enjoy each individual firework shot into the air, since they usually average two fireworks per minute. 🙂

Sure, Wichita might be able to synchronize their fireworks to a local radio station to add a little pizazz… but like I said, I played some “Billie Jean”.

Though I’m not sure I will be able to give my children the same small-town life that I enjoyed, I do know that Sedan will always be a part of their lives. Especially on the 3rd of July!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Fireworks and a Small Town

  1. Aunt Sally

    You are so right!! Nick and I sure enjoyed spending the 3rd and the 4th with you and Matt. The fun and good times just get better and better.

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