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I am in my mid 20s and have heard many stories of my dad and M80s, wish I could have experienced this sense of raw excitement that real fireworks brought to generations past. Great article!
This essay is so good it REALLY should be picked up by some national news service, posted where citizens can read it throughout the land, and re-run every 4th of July as an American tradition!
Nice job James, but you forgot about the cherry bombs. They took more fingers than anything else.
Hilarious article. Haven't lol for a newspaper in a while. Grew up by Fargo, this is so true
Great article. Ah, the memories. One summer day, circa 1979, after enduring a particularly nasty volley of big bottle rockets from the neighbor boy across the street, my dad got fed up. He pocketed an M-80 in his wrist rocket and gave it a good 7 count after I lit it, then launched it over the rooftops. Needless to say the indirect fire attacks stopped. The upshot: I avoided Artillery like the plague when I enlisted in the Army years later. I can't imagine doing anything that crazy nowadays.
I seem to recall a firecracker fued with a neighbor when I was a kid, something about a tennis racket and bunches of blackcats. Don't remember the details, other than thinking it was just about the most exciting thing we had ever done. Unfortunately I never actually got around to dismantling a brick of blackcats to build a bigger bomb. I always thought of doing it, but never actually did. But, it's not too late...
I remember those "good old days" when we could have fun with real fireworks. I always went over to South Dakota to get mine because I had relatives that lived on the border, and it was just a hop, skip and a whistle to get our fireworks. But the state of Minnesota knows more about my safety than I do.
James, bravo! Your writing is fantastic!
This story is great. The one thing mentioned about Wisconsin and 8 fingers with a few extra is incorrect though. Wisconsin residents can't even buy the big boom, sky high fireworks that these establishments sell in their state unless they get a permit from their Mayor or township board or of coarse if they are with someone who has any other states drivers license other than Wisconsins. Sad stuff!
I'm building a carbide cannon as we speak. Google it, they've been said to cause neighborhood dogs to wedge themselves in a closet. Got my carbide in the mail just a couple days ago, can't wait. Water, carbide, match, KA-BOOOM!!
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