Stand down

I have to admit to feeling a little melancholy when I see a fireworks stand on the day after the Fourth of July. Its hollow plywood shell and empty shelves echo the festivities of just the night before.

The stands go up a few weeks before Independence Day and they’re just as barren as the day after, but the feeling is different. I remember as a kid there was just one fireworks stand in the small Delta Town of Walnut Grove (a Red Devil, if I remember correctly). I eagerly awaited the coming of the Fourth with excitement and anticipation. My father would take me to buy the fireworks. I would look through the screen-covered windows and marvel at the assortment of colorful boxes staring back at me from the shelves. And I remember the sparklers sizzling in my hands and the shower of gold and red sparks from the different cones and cylinders packed with fireworks magic on the night of the Fourth.

On the Fifth of July, the stand would still be there, and, as a youngster, I would ride my bike to it hoping there would be someone still selling some surplus leftovers or maybe small sparklers that someone dropped and left behind. But it was always as empty as a pauper’s wallet with just the summer’s breeze blowing across its tan plywood walls.

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