Friday night, the Fourth of July, Jenn and I went down to the
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes baseball game and took part in the fireworks show
after the game.
Now, when I say “took part in,” what I mean is, “we actually hand-lit
the professional fireworks show.”
My boss, Greg, is a licensed pyro and was hired to do the show down
there. He needed some help, so a couple of the guys in my department and
I stepped up. Hey, it’s fireworks - up close and personal.
Jenn and I got down there about 3:00p, just after Greg. Greg brought
Mike, a guy who used to be in my department but defected to go to the
Security department (bastard). We sat around for a little while to wait
for the rest of the guys to show up. Eventually, Eddie, Justin, and Brad
arrived and we started setting up.
We dug out a trench (thank goodness the thing was already dug from last
year; all we had to do was clear it out a bit), set up the boxes of
fireworks, and then… waited.
At some point around the 6:00p timeframe, Justin’s wife showed up with
food - oh, yeah. Eddie also made a burger run, so there was no shortage
Around 9:00p or thereabouts, Justin, Brad, Mike, and I all got into our
fire gear (fireman coats and helmets with face shields). Around 10:00p,
the baseball game ended and Greg fired up the first “fusee” (basically a
road flare that you use to light the fireworks with)… and we waited
while the baseball people got their crap together.
Shortly after, Greg lit a second fusee (they took too long and the
first got put out), handed it to Brad (my fireworks lighting partner)
and we lit the first box.
It’s like a damn war zone when you’re lighting these things. You have
to stay on your knees, crouched down (so your head doesn’t get blown off
by one of the mortars), carrying this road flare that’s dripping molten
plastic, and paying attention to Greg, who tells you when to light the
next box. You’ve got earplugs that help out, but you can feel the
impact of each mortar as it fires off. Burned (and burning) particles
come raining down on your head and back (that’s why you’ve got helmets
and coats) and your lighting partner has to brush them off of you so you
don’t get burned.
Scary shit, man, but fun like nothing else.
I mean, it’s dangerous stuff, but we were all being totally safe and
careful, and I think what made the whole thing fun was knowing that we
were able to blow stuff up in a fun, yet reasonably controlled,
environment. It’s that rush you get when you’re blowing things up with
M-80s when you’re a kid… but way bigger, and way better.
So, that was my Independence Day. Good times.
Saturday and Sunday I didn’t really do anything of note. Jenn and I did
our usual household chores, shopping, etc. Rented a couple of movies
(Tears Of The
Save the Last
Superbit format. Got me a nose/ear hair
This morning Jenn’s cell phone rang at 4:46a and I never did get back
to sleep. I’d kill her, but I’m too tired. And now I’m in training,
getting ready for class to start.