Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Paradise ponders: fireworks and Southern accents edition...

Paradise ponders: fireworks and Southern accents edition...  Last night Debbie and I drove 3 miles north to the town of Hyrum, to watch the fireworks.  Locals had told us that it was the best in the valley – not as big or as slickly produced as the Logan show, but still great and much, much more intimate.

Oh, they were so right!

We arrived at 7 pm, early in the hope of securing a good spot from which to watch.  That we did, and our timing could hardly have been better.  In the photo at right, you can see where we parked (the red circle) and where the fireworks were launched from (the blue rectangle).  We were perched roughly 500 feet from the fireworks' mortars. 

There weren't many people there at first, but within a half hour the soccer field we were parked next to started to fill up.  There were some entertainments along the western edge of the soccer fields: some inflatable slides, a collection of “bubbles” that you could climb inside and then bump into other people with, and (my favorite) a contraption like a giant slingshot.  Smaller children would be loaded into a harness on that slingshot, then pulled back just like you would on a stone in a rubber hand-held slingshot.  Then they'd like the child go, and up into the air they would go – 15 to 20 feet up, then bouncing around after that.  Some of the kids would do somersaults while they were high up.  All of them were clearly having a ball!  Vendors were selling popcorn and LED sticks that made colorful lights everywhere. 

Around 8 pm, we started to see fireworks launched by town residents.  Some of these fireworks were the little ones that we're accustomed to seeing in private hands.  Many of them, though, were much studlier.  There were “bombs” that sounded much bigger than the “cherry bombs” of my youth.  There were roman candles that got up to about 400' high and exploded into displays a couple hundred feet in diameter.  There were dazzling aerial fountains, screamers, whistlers, and so many more.  One of the citizens launching these things was doing so from a point in the street less than 50' from our car.  For the next two hours, until about 10 pm, we had a continuous fireworks show 360° around us!  Neither of us had ever experienced anything like this in our lives.  Some individual sites launched hundreds of fireworks, including the one nearest our car.  As it approached 10 pm, we were telling each other that even if the municipal show was canceled, we'd still be happy with the display.

But the show was not canceled.  It started at 10 pm and lasted for 20 minutes, during which time around 500 or 600 glorious fireworks were fired up.  Some of the fireworks were near Gandalf-level; most were merely spectacular.  Our position couldn't have been any better.  We just stood up and leaned against our car, and unless someone happened to walk by there was nobody within 30' or 40' of us.  When the largest fireworks went off, the center was a 45° elevation from us, and they spanned 110° to 120° of the sky.  It's the first fireworks display I've ever seen that I would call immersive – when the big ones went off, it felt like we were in the middle of them.  The grand finale was very grand indeed, with lots of the big booms.  We could feel the shock waves because of our proximity, and the cars and trees around us all shook.  Best fireworks display evah!  You can be certain we'll be back each year...

This morning I had to make a couple of calls to Virginia.  My mom's old house in Troy finally sold, and the closing was on Friday.  I called to get the electrical and propane services out of my name.  In both cases when I called a young woman answered the phone, and spoke to me with a very pronounced southern drawl.  Something about a young woman with that accent is just irresistible.  I stretched out those calls just as long as I plausibly could...  :)