These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

the fourth

we've spent four fourt of julys in michigan. last night we attended our third fourth celebration at kollen park (last year dawn was freshly out of the hospital). we went with the babbitts.

the babbitts came over early and we had dinner prepared in our newly acquired gas grill.

as we chatted, we noticed the trickling of people going by. it was early. the fireworks wouldn't start until dusk. so we left earlier than i'd anticipated and joined the throngs of folks out at the park.

we looked around and founda good spot off to the right of the main open area at the park to the left of the playground. with the exception of a large tree directly in front of us, we had a gret view of the fireworks display, since most of the people were sitting to our left. the past few times, we'd sat farther west and had pretty good views of the display.

after chatting, watching people and checking out a really cool star in the sky, the lights dimmed by the waterfront and shortly after a choir began to sing a version of the star-spangled banner. then they sang the version i know. and the fireworks commenced.

and immediately there was a problem. the display was going off in front of us but it was blocked completely by the large tree. we weren't the only ones caught off guard. people scrambled to get a better view of the fireworks. there seemed to be confusion, murmurs and then movements. i think people were wondering why the fireworks were so far off to the right when there was plenty of open space to the left in front of the park.

we got up and made our way off to the right, almost out of kollen park. we had to cross the street leading into the park and placed our blankets in an area where we were able to see them.

and they were beautiful, with shooting colors of red, green, blue, yellow off into the sky. with my new glasses, i was able to see the tinies of sparkly pieces as they fell away and disappeared. the choir ekpt singing in the bakground.

but in my mind i kept wondering why the fireworks were so far off to the right. i mean, a majority of the park was to the left. waaaay to the left. it seemed wrong.

then i noticed some bright lights on to our right where a certain new restaurant is located. i know the restaurant rented out small pieces of the deck to people to see the fireworks display.

i got to wondering if maybe the display was moved more to the right to accommodate those who paid to sit on the deck. however, if this is so, i think it's wrong. there were far more people sitting on the park lawn waiting to see the firworks than on the deck of the restaurant.

i don't know if it was on purpose of what, but if the display was moved to the right to cater to those on the deck it was wrong. the display is for the public who waiting more than an hour and a half to get started. the dispay should have been more centrally located so if you're sitting to the right of the bandshell on the lawn, you would be almost on top of it.

i don't know what went wrong, but the display was off center.

still, we enjoyed ourselves and had a good third year attending the fireworks display. (our first year we went with my folks while they were up here, the second year it was with peg, who'd just moved here a few months before.)


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