It starts with a glimmer of anticipation deep in the back of the pre-adolescent boy's mind in early June. By late June, it's a burning coal that keeps growing until only one week is left and the countdown begins, then it bursts into flame and consumes him. No, we aren't talking about girls (that comes later on!) We are talking Fireworks. As in the FOURTH - Independence Day - one of the Big Three holidays of the kid year that takes a back seat to NO other day... short of your own birthday of course :)
No sooner were the tent stakes pounded in the ground than I would hop on my Stingray and pedal down the street, take a right and speed halfway across the neighborhood to the closest fireworks stand and spend every penny I could pack into both front pockets of my cut-offs.
Once back home I'd light my punk over the kitchen stove, then dutifully take up residence on the front steps of our home for the next four days straight. Those days were filled with dreaming up all kinds of new imaginative ways to light off a ladyfinger in the mailbox or perfecting the aim of a pop bottle rocket so that it could reach the very edge of space (at least I thought it did).
Yep, in my mind the Fourth of July was the best day of the year... even better than my own birthday!
Some of the old fireworks saved along with my cigar box from kidhood