Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fire Boss

On the 4th of July aka Independence Day there will be people celebrating all over America, cookouts galore, lots of burned hot dogs, burgers, steaks, and fireworks, yes there will be fireworks, but when it comes to the fireworks we have to be careful of burned fingers and worse, so without preaching I'll just ask everyone to be careful and enjoy your holiday safely.

Our celebration will include cooking out on the grill and listening to the fireworks go off around us later on, we don't buy fireworks anymore, they are illegal where we live, and even though it is so dry there will still be those who have fireworks anyway.

Some of our past experiences on the 4th have included fireworks, well a lot of them did when the kids were younger, we have had near misses and direct hits, and one year we had a Fire Boss who kept us all safe.

When we lived in New Mexico our neighborhood was a close knit group, if one of us started up their grill for a cookout, we would end up with neighbors bringing food to add and/or other grills to join in, almost every night there was a group sitting on our front porch telling tales and sometimes singing songs especially when "Weird Dave" brought his guitar over.

Not sure why we called him that, but somehow he got stuck with that name. Dave lived across the street from us, he was in the Air Force and right next door to him was another house where several young Air Force guys lived, this is how we met Casey (one of Randy's groomsmen).

On one particular 4th of July Casey was stuck with no place to go, Weird Dave was going up to New Hampshire for the holiday and had asked us to keep an eye on his house, fireworks were legal that year and we had already taken Randy, Tim, and yes we took Casey too, out to the fireworks stands, and brought home a lot more than we intended, at first we were going to shoot off a few fireworks and have a simple cookout. Well as you know nothing is ever simple.....

As the sun went down Casey had invited a couple of the young men in his squadron who also had no place to go, they also made a stop by the fireworks stand on their way over, and needless to say by the time each one called someone else, and they made a couple calls, we had a street full of our neighbors outnumbered by young Airmen.

I think there were more fireworks lying on my front porch than they had at the public display downtown. There were two Airmen out in the street shooting Roman Candles at one another, they were also lying in the street looking at the fuses burning on the rockets, they were timing the delay from when the fire entered the rocket to the time of ignition, Wow I couldn't believe this, I didn't know these guys so I asked Casey about them, he just shook his head, "that's a couple of the weapons guys, they work arming bombs".
Cartoon man lighting a firework
About that time a rocket got knocked over and started bouncing all over the street, it ended up hitting the wall of Weird Daves house right below his bedroom window, the grass below the window immediately ignited, yes we had a fire on our hands, Casey began shouting orders as he ran towards Weird Daves house, it was amazing to see a group of about twenty Airmen fall into sync and extinguish the fire before it got out of hand.

After this fiasco Casey pulled all the Airmen together, I am not sure what the conversation was but when he released them the rest of the night was a lot more orderly. The weapons guys took charge of the fireworks, they made sure that everyone waited their turn to set off any fireworks and that they did it properly, they carried the spent shells from the ground level artilleries and such to five gallon buckets of water set aside to make sure they were extinguished.

The other Airmen made sure everyone was having a good time and joined in the fun, Casey took a position in the middle of the street with a flashlight in each hand, he yelled for everyone to get out of the street if a vehicle was coming, and if someone had already lit a fuse when a car was approaching Casey would wave down the car and tell them what was going on, most everyone was thankful and sat there to enjoy the one firework before Casey cleared the street and let the car pass.

One of our boys asked Casey "What are you supposed to be out there" Casey replied with a term I can't remember and  when asked to explain the term Casey said "Fire Boss" I'm just here to make sure we all have fun and nobody gets hurt.

The police did come by once, and Casey had to stop them in the street, he was asked to explain what was going on and Casey said I'm just making sure these kids have fun, the officers watched the rocket that was lit in front of them blast off, waved at everyone as they passed and went on their way, after Casey cleared the street of course.

We shut it all down at midnight, the five gallon buckets were all dumped and all the chairs and tables put away, the poly cart from Casey's house was overflowing and we had more to go, I joked with Casey "Why don't you jump in and stomp down the trash" Casey said that's a good Idea, he looked around and saw a young Airman sitting on the porch doing nothing.

Casey raised his hand and yelled "Airman, you need to jump into this can and stomp down the trash so we can get this mess cleaned up" "Yes Sir" and next thing I know the Airman was stomping down trash, he climbed out of the can and was dripping wet all the way to his knees, Cindy asked him why he did that and he pointed to Casey and said "He outranks me and he asked me to do it" from then on this kid was known as "Stinky" he didn't seem to mind and always showed up at suppertime with the others.

I was standing looking at the street in front of our house, man it looked like a confetti parade had passed, I knew the neighbors wouldn't be happy with us once the sun came up.

At about 6am the next morning I could hear talking out in the street, I went outside to listen to complaints from the neighbors, but instead I saw all the Airmen from the night before with trash cans, push brooms, and dust pans cleaning the street, Casey was standing in the road shouting orders at the men, I complimented them on what they were doing and asked Casey "What are you doing out here buddy?" he replied with "I'm the Fire Boss" and we are getting this mess cleaned up.

I hope you all have a safe and sane fourth of July, and if needed I pray that you have your own Fire Boss because these people keep us from getting into trouble, and when cleanup time comes think of poor old Stinky because without him things would surely be a mess.

Are you doing anything special for the 4th of July?

38 comments:

  1. What a great memory to have and to share with others. May be your Fourth of July be peaceful and happy and yes, very very safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Delores, I appreciate you my Friend.

      Delete
  2. Wow, that's quite a story about the airmen and your neighbor. Thanks for sharing it.

    Happy Fourth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jean, that was a fun time in our lives, all those boys are grown up now and I hope they have happy memories of that time also.

      Delete
  3. Everyone needs a fire boss. What a great post.

    Have a fabulous and safe 4th of July. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Sandee, he made a good Fire Boss and you are right we all need someone like that in our lives.

      You have a great 4th too.

      Delete
  4. I have to work early tommorow at 5:30am , so I won't be doing anything tonight. I live a bit more rural than I used to so the fireworks sounds probably won't be bad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Adam, yes sir a rural area does cut down on the noise for the neighbors, you and Daisy have a nice evening.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Thank you Fran, and a safe and Happy Fourth to you too.

      Delete
  6. Three cheers for the Fire Boss! We can have fun and be responsible and good neighbors at the same time. Happy Fourth to you and yours, Jimmy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Abby, it's funny Casey is still exactly the same, at Randy's wedding he was instructing people on the safest way to cross that bridge, he even stood there a while and controlled traffic going onto it ha ha.

      Happy Fourth to all of you too.

      Delete
  7. Great thoughts and have a nice celebration!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's a great story!

    We have no plans. Our days of shooting off (LEGAL) fireworks ended when our oldest son went off to college. Hick has set the neighbor's field on fire (don't worry, he stomped it out with his sandals), almost blew up my mom's car, made me sit under an umbrella after rocket parts rained down on me, and as a 14-year-old, lost sight in his left eye because he leaned over an unexploded parachute firework right as it exploded.

    He really needed a Fire Boss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Val, like you our fireworks days pretty much ended when the kids moved out. Yes it does sound like Hick needed a Fire Boss for sure, now that your oldest has gone to college hopefully Hick will be safe.

      Delete
  9. Every job needs a supervisor and it helps if he out ranks everyone. Casey really did a great job protecting and cleaning up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patti, he was a lot of help that night, it was like we had a bunch of idiots one minute then after he talked to them everything turned around and made for a fun evening, I'm sure his rank helped them listen ha ha

      Delete
  10. That was a great 4th of July party, enjoyed the story. I've always been a bit scared of fireworks. The most I ever held when I was growing up was a sparkler, and they were so strong those sparks used to burn the tops of my hands as they flew. It's just the two of us today. For years we attended a family 4th of July picnic 200 miles south of here every year for 40 years and there have been 60 to 70 people invited in their hayday. These last two there haven't been any because the hub of our wheel passed away over a year ago. He is greatly missed. Everyone is spending the 4th quietly this year with immediate family. That's good too but fireworks? We'll probably hear a few popping off in the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise, being a bit scared of fireworks is a good thing, Cindy and I were talking about the sparklers earlier today, they are one of the hottest ones they put out and we always deem them safe and give them to the little ones, it a wonder more aren't hurt.

      A picnic like you described sounds wonderful, I'm sorry you have lost the man who was the center of it all.

      We will be having a quiet evening also, but that's OK with me.

      Delete
  11. You have the best stories, Jimmy. It's good to hear about solid American citizens on this holiday!
    Hope you are enjoying the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Bijoux, I appreciate you my Dear Friend, the day has been quiet so far but I'm sure that will change here in a little while once the displays downtown start.

      Here's to a wonderful day for you.

      Delete
  12. Organisation, safety rules AND clean up! I wanna live near those guys :)
    individual fireworks displays are illegal all over Australia, we're such a dry country, the law was passed way back in the 70s I think, or late 60s I don't remember exactly. Now only government organised displays such as New Year's Eve are allowed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi River, It was fun at the time, but like you the fireworks are Illegal where we live now, here in California it is also dry so I have no problem not setting off fireworks anymore.

      There are enough public displays to enjoy here too.

      Delete
  13. Great story! I've lived in areas where mostly fireworks were illegal unless put on by some display. I think the worse place we lived for reinforcing the fact that they were illegal was when we lived in Billings, Montana. In the city you couldn't have them, but the county you could. Son desperately wanted to buy them (tents set up right across from city limits). I refused since we lived in the city. We went to the display put on by the city at the park to watch the fireworks and everyone is setting off fireworks (illegal ones). The police are walking around patrolling the area and not writing any tickets, etc. (We were in city limits). I'm thinking "you are nullifying the lessons I'm trying to teach my son about obeying city laws."

    We stopped going to big displays of fireworks the last few years of our corgi's life. He hated the loud noises and would cower. We chose to stay home and help him get through the night rather than enjoy the magnificent displays. I don't regret it :)

    We did have a nice 4th :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Betty, this story was about fifteen or so years back when they were legal, but we did have many years where they were like you described legal in the county but illegal in the city, the police there did their best, because like you described they were for sale outside the city limits but illegally used inside.

      Our little dog has gotten to where she is scared of the noises like that now, and I can't imagine shooting off fireworks outside now when she is terrified inside.

      You make a good point because when they are illegal, law enforcement should ticket those using then and confiscate the materials rather than ignore them, I see your point 100% on teaching your son the lesson of the law being ignored.

      Legal or not I think we have just as good a time now without them.

      Good to see you Betty

      Delete
  14. Enjoyed this story. I remember our dogs being scared even though they were never let outside on such occasions.
    Fireworks in the UK come out on Bonfire Night (November) but I never go to see them. Too many bad memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Valerie, the fireworks are scary for a lot of animals and even though situations like my story are making good memories, animals are being frightened in other areas like our little dog now, or even worse what you went through.

      Delete
  15. I hope you and your family had a terrific Fourth of July celebration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stephen, we had a quiet day, it was really nice, I hope your day was great.

      Delete
  16. I love to watch the fireworks but never been a fan of being next to the ones being shot off. I was the one that would run for cover everytime one was lit. It was scary fun to me. We all need a little of that sometimes. Ha.
    Hope you all had a wonderful 4th
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lisa, yes we all need a little of that thrill at least once in our lives, I think most of us sort of outgrow wanting to be the one lighting the fuse though.

      We had a nice quiet day here, the only thing I lit this year was the grill ha ha.

      Delete
  17. It was certainly a night to remember (not always for the right reasons). Here in the UK, fireworks come out on Guy Fawkes night (5th November) and New Year's Eve. I tend not to bother with them much these days - a sure sign I'm getting old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Bryan, we haven't bothered with them for a number of years either, I think we must have done it more for the kids than ourselves because since they moved out we haven't bought any.

      Good to see you my friend.

      Delete
  18. We don't celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, but we do have a celebration on that day because it was the day our eldest daughter arrived in our home. We adopted her at 10 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Joey, a very good reason to celebrate, the arrival of your daughter into your home is better than anything.

      Delete
  19. Glad there was someone around to watch out for stuff!

    We had a quiet holiday, stayed home most of the day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Casey did take charge that night, we were happy he was there.

      We took it easy this year also, I like it that way truthfully.

      Delete

I am glad you stopped by, feel free to join in, tell me what you think, or just say Hi, thank you for commenting.