Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Have a Rocket

Being Independence Day, it reminded me of a little poem that my childhood friend, Tommy Rader, used to recite every fourth of July. It went like this...

I have a rocket
In my pocket.
I cannot stop to play
Away she goes.
It burns my toes.
It's Indepedence Day!

My father was a plumber, working for Local 8 in Kansas City, Missouri. We didn't have a lot of money, so we didn't' spend much on the fourth of July holiday. We usually had hamburgers that my dad cooked on the grill, and hot dogs. And there was either an ice cold watermelon, or he got out the hand-crank ice cream freezer and we made homemade ice cream. What a summer delight that was, and is.

We didn't usually (actually we never did) spend a lot of money on fireworks. But we did make our annual trip to one of the local stands and purchase a few favorite items. These included a package of 100 Black Cat firecrackers, a box of sparklers, a dozen bottle rockets, five or six of the little cone-shaped fountains that kind of spewed sparks out in a somewhat wimpy manner, and, my favorite, the Snakes.

If you've never seen Snakes, they're an amazing little piece of work. They're a cylindrical, black shape, about a half inch in diameter and a half inch tall. You sit them on the concrete and hold your punk to them until they light. When they do, the snake starts crawling out of the concrete, or so it appears. I could get mesmerized just watching them as that long, gray ash climbed up from the cylinder.

I should go buy some of those, just for old time's sake.

Have a safe holiday.

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