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July 1, 2014

Fireworks Anyone?


I'm on deadline and completely forgot it's my day to blog. So forgive me for running this one a second time around, but I think it's worth a repeat. It's the funniest fourth I've ever experienced.
Happy Birthday America!  It's almost the fourth and this month I wanted to do something a little different.  I want to hear from you what you love about living in America.  We say we're the greatest country in the world, but I want to know what makes you appreciate living here.

Here's mine: 
Last year my husband and I were in New York on Fourth of July. We had tickets to watch the fabulous fireworks on the Hudson river from a boat. I was so excited. The first day in New York I sprained my ankle and limped the entire trip. When July 4th came, we were getting itchy to get home. That afternoon we lined up to get on a boat and stood for over an hour in the hot boiling sun.  By the time we boarded, I felt faint.  But we found a place right along the railing of the boat, and I just knew we were going to see some fabulous fireworks. The only problem was that security would not let anyone set-up chairs. They wanted everyone to stand until you arrived back in port, three hours from now.

Don left to get us some bottled water. While standing there alone, I heard shouting behind me. I turned around to see a fight between security and the crowd over the chairs. A woman started screaming "Mutiny! Mutiny! Grab the chairs!"  And everyone started taking chairs and shoving one another get a spot. Oh my God! And my sweet man was downstairs, while I watched these people act like lunatics.

A nice older gentleman took pity on me and brought me two chairs. When Don returned I started to feel comfortable once again. Maybe things were going to be okay. We sat on this boat for two and half hours facing the direction the fireworks would go off talking to the people around us.  Just as it became dark, the captain turned the boat so that we were facing away from the fireworks.

By this time the crowd was filled with alcohol, hot and tired of waiting. People started chanting, "Turn the boat! Turn the boat! Turn the boat!"  And the captain locked himself in the control room never to be seen again during this trip.

When the fireworks started, these inebriated people jumped up on their chairs to see the fireworks since we couldn't see them in the back. I kept waiting for one of them to land in the Hudson River, but thank goodness no one did. 

Me, I watched the fireworks between a pair of plaid shorts and navy capri's. I caught glimpses of the fireworks when their butts swayed with the rocking motion of the ship.

Now why do I think of this as a positive story? Where else in the world would you get to watch a bunch of crazy tourists act so nutty about fireworks? Where else in the world would people have the freedom to express their thoughts, even the crazy lady shouting mutiny?

We were so disappointed that night, and wished we'd just lined the banks of the river with the other hundred thousand people. But now I look back and laugh and think someday that crazy woman shouting mutiny, is going to appear in a novel.

So what's your favorite 4th of July memory or the reason you love living in America?  No politics, please, just positive expressions of love for our country.


14 comments:

vicki batman said...

Hi, Sylvia! I love fireworks and have some great memories of shows: on a boat in the bay at San Francisco; on a resort golf course; on a balcony; on a river park and could see 3 shows. Yours about mutinying is hilarious and scary. I'm glad all worked out and now, you have an interesting story.

Sandy said...

Cute post, Vicki. People can be absolutely nuts. at times.

Pamela Stone said...

Great story, Sylvia. When we moved to Waxahachie 5 years ago, the lady across the street stopped by to introduce herself. I thought it was odd that one of the first things she asked was whether we liked fireworks. I said sure and her simple answer, "Good." A month later, the sky over our neighborhood exploded with fireworks. These people are lunatics. You can't see it all. You are busy watching these amazing fireworks one direction and hear three more pops from somewhere behind you. It's insane, but fun. The crowd each year grows. But . . .

Sylvia said...

Hi Vicki,
My husband loves fireworks and we have some really great memories of other fireworks shows, but this one...it will remain with me forever. Never taking that boat ride again.

Sylvia said...

Sandy,
Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment. Yes, it seems like holidays and fireworks brings out the absolute crazies. But New York was beautiful and the skyline was gorgeous that night.

Sylvia said...

Pam,
OH MY GOD! How fun as long as they end the fireworks at a decent hour. We can't shoot off fireworks in our neighborhood or face a $5,000 fine. But my MIL's neighborhood - they would shoot them all night long. I kept thinking sooner or later they're going to run out aren't they?

Karilyn Bentley said...

Cute post Sylvia!!! I love the mutiny lady! :)

Elizabeth Essex said...

Funny story, Sylvia.

I'm not much making big effort for fireworks these days, but where I grew up , on the Connecticut shore, the 4th of July firework were a big night. They set them off from a barge off shore from the big public beaches and it was easy for the whole town to see.

But now I'd just as soon stay home and not worry about someone setting the dry grass on fire....

Thanks for the giggles!

Pamela Stone said...

Hey, Sylvia,

I wish, but they started a week or so ago and will go on for at least a week after. About midnight the first year my mom, who is deaf, said, "I'm taking my hearing aid out and going to bed. Good luck." And she did. The rest of us got very little sleep.

Sylvia said...

Karilyn,
That woman was a short little lady who I will remember for the rest of my life. It's hysterically funny now when I think of her, but at that moment it was kind of terrifying.

Sylvia said...

Liz,
You are welcome for the giggles and I don't venture far from home on the 4th any longer. We can see Vista Ridge Mall's fireworks from our back yard and that's where I'll be on the 4th.

Sylvia said...

Pam,
I so feel your pain. Your mother's comment is really funny. At my MIL's house in Farmington, New Mexico we would sleep with the windows open, because it always cooled down at night and she was very tight with her money. So no A/C at night. I remember laying there and hearing fireworks all night long. Just about the time you'd go to sleep a big boom would wake you up. Miss my MIL and visiting her, but we decided not to go back on the 4th after that night.

Melissa Keir said...

That is just too funny of a story and certainly should end up in a book!

I don't have any funny stories about the Fourth of July. I love watching the fireworks though and am lucky enough to get to see them from my house window since so many neighbors decide to shoot them off. Now if my house doesn't burn down, I feel lucky!

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