They're as predictable as chickweed, as common as crabgrass, and as irritating as ragweed. Their growing season peaks at the end of June, and by July 7 they'll be gone as if killed off as if by a giant, freak frost.
"They" are are not annual plants, but annual fireworks tents, and they have popped up on nearly every Shelbyville corner, in most of the retail parking lots, and anywhere there's an open area bigger than 6x6. On a trip across town on this Friday morning from the Magic Studio to a large box store (only because no other retailer had what I needed) I counted five tents full of fireworks. Some were just a bottle rocket away from another.
I like fireworks as much as the next guy, but ever since I set the woods on fire with a flying firecracker many years ago, I am super careful. Actually, that was my second bad experience with exploding devices. When I was about 7, I think, I was playing with firecrackers, lighting them and tossing them. You know where this is going. I lit one, cocked my arm for the throw, then POW! It went off in my hand. Two days later, when the feeling returned to my fingers (yes, I still have all 10), I was able to laugh it off.
These days, I leave the fireworks the the professionals — that way I get to keep my digits.
This year's Fourth of July celebration — Shake the Lake — takes place Friday, July 4 at Clear Creek Park. Among other entertainment, there will be food, a yard sale, vendors, a tethered hot air balloon ride, and music by Killin’ Time Band and Eddie Barber at starting at 6. See you there!
Writer James Mulcahy
spent 35 years as a newspaper journalist at small and large papers. He is currently a freelance photographer/writer/graphics designer, and he drives a school bus.