Tuesday, July 04, 2006
4th of July and “Illegal” Fireworks
First of all – Happy 4th!
4th of July has changed allot from the days when I was a kid that my daughter will likely never experience particularly block party BBQ’s and then lighting fireworks in the street. Where we live (and the vast majority of the L.A. area) - fireworks (even the legal kind) are illegal. You know like the sparklers, whistlers, fountains, flashers and even those black snakes that left a black mark on the sidewalk…all the fun stuff I liked to light on the street with the neighborhood kids after a block party.
These days most cities out here have public displays. In our case we can literally watch them from our house. Which isn’t bad, but it’s not the same. I’m no pyro, but as a kid, I really looked forward to those “safe and sane” branded fireworks that the boy scouts or rotary club sold in those temporary booth shacks with the wire windows (I know safe and sane are debatable since my friends and I always found ways to “modify” them with some power tools or duct tape...)
About 2 years ago we were invited to join a 4th of July BBQ near downtown L.A. with some friends. Apparently everything is legal there, even the illegal ones from Tijuana (People even walk around selling them on the streets) -- the police drive around and don’t do anything about it. Which all was a little appealing but very frightening at the same time. Our friends told us stories that even made me cringe a little -M-80’s being thrown, bottle rockets shooting sideways – O.K. so that makes me cringe allot – sounded allot more like a war zone. Oddly enough they didn’t see anybody get hurt, or fires, which I find very unbelievable.
You would think there could be some middle ground (I don’t know…no-flame fireworks with today’s technology?), but not around here.
I just read an article today in the L.A. Times about a boom in firework sales from “backyard” display sales. I’m not sure where, but I’d like to go there for the 4th next year.