austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Locked on your wavelength; caught in the field, falling slowly

We drove to bunny_hugger's parents' Tuesday, the 4th of July. We'd miss the Lansing city fireworks, and miss the Albion fireworks, and what can we say but thanks, Trenton-Mercer Airport, for never giving us an easy time flying home. But it was the chance to see them, and give them salt water taffy from Berkeley Candy. And to share some of our stories, particularly about Bowcraft and the discovery of Playland Castaway Cove.

bunny_hugger's father had fireworks, something I still deep down can't quite believe is normal and healthy and all. I kept my usual wary reserve, even from the harmless stuff like sparklers. But I was also rewarded for my reserve. A big box that was supposed to shoot off a dozen Roman candles or something like that misfired, just like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon or something. Some of the rockets just exploded at once. One shot off horizontally, skidding across the street and to the neighbor opposite's porch, where it rebounded and shot up. Another one shot off horizontally the other direction, like, towards bunny_hugger. Not right at her, mind, even before she ran, but being even ten feet away from an errant rocket is not at all comfortable.

So. Yes. I understand that was a freak event. My concern: the remnants of the box were smoldering. Were all the shells spent? Was all the gunpowder exploded? bunny_hugger's father tossed the box, as he had the other spent fireworks, off the driveway and onto the lawn. I pointed out it was still smoldering, and then more when the cardboard box caught on fire. He stamped it down with his foot. I grew up in a state that banned all fireworks in 1936 and had it burned into my memory early on that this was how you lose limbs. And at that it was smoldering. I wanted to soak the remnants; he didn't want to have to re-coil the hose. I have to interpret that as an excuse but can't imagine what the real issue was.

Anyway, I insisted, and promised to wind the hose back up. And soaked down the box, and the remanent fireworks, and the driveway with a ruthlessness that reminds you, I worked four summers in the quality control lab of a gunpowder plant. And maybe I was overreacting, but I really want explosives well-tamed and under close guard.

And again, this was the freak event. Most of the fireworks were just fine, and there was one similarly spectacular collection of Roman candles that went off perfectly, and that was such a good show that the neighbors on the other side of the house applauded. That's more normal stuff.

Trivia: Casey Stengel was a holdout in the spring of 1917 when Charlie Ebbets decided to cut his salary from $5,000 to $3,300 and then, after protest from Stengel, to $2,900 and then $2,700. Source: Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself, Michael Shapiro.

Currently Reading: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach. Oh wow but the I Don't Even Own A Television podcast was so right about it.


PS: more Merry-Go-Round Museum fun.

SAM_8226.jpg

The band organ, out front, with some of the figures that move when it's in motion. I think. We're usually in the main room, in back, when they give demonstrations of the organ and at that it's tooth-rattlingly loud. If we went out front to watch it might peel our skin off.


SAM_8231.jpg

The working carousel as seen from inside, with a focus on their pig. It's named Wilbur. On the outside ear there's a little spider.


SAM_8237.jpg

The Wurlitzer band organ for their carousel. Also a booklet of instructions for the thing.


PPS: Reading the Comics, October 7, 2017: Rerun Comics Edition, with 1931-vintage Popeye action.

Tags: fifth anniversary trip, halloweekends, merry-go-round museum
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