Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fireworks? No thanks

I have a confession to make: I wouldn't walk across the street to watch a fireworks display.

It wasn't always so. When I was about 10, we spent the summer in a bungalow right off the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach. Every week -- Saturday night, I think -- there was a glorious fireworks display launched from a barge in the Atlantic. Ira the 10-year-old thought it was great.

Flash forward to fatherhood. We would take our boys to New Paltz (there used to be a show on the "tripping fields" on campus) or Saugerties (a former city editor owned a home close enough to the village so that we could see the boomers without having to encounter the traffic jam at the end of the night). Ira the dad put up with it for the kids' sake.

But, at the risk of playing Independence Day Scrooge, in my mind, a little goes a long way when it comes to fireworks. Been there, done that.

Maybe someday Ira the granddad will bring baby Elizabeth to one of these summertime rituals. Oh, well, you do what you have to do.

Speaking of summertime rituals, when did the Nathan's hot dog eating contest transcend from being a public relations man's dream event to promote a product, perhaps worthy of a picture in the paper and maybe 10 seconds on the evening news on an otherwise slow holiday, to live coverage on an all-sports cable TV newtwork and a front-page spread on -- gasp! -- my own paper?

Just another sign of the end of the world as we knew it.
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