When we were kids, we drove into town and lined the streets with all the other cars to watch the fireworks. We kids usually sat on the hood and leaned back against the windshield. Sometimes, black specks would rain down on us if the wind was in a certain direction.
I saw fireworks in 1976 from grandstands in Rugby, North Dakota, the geographical center of North America.
When my kids were little and loved sparklers, I spent the entire time they played with them terrified that someone was going to drop one on the ground and someone was going to step on one of those burning hot sharp pointy wires or worse, fall and put an eye out on one. I hated those damn things!
When the park where they are usually shown was torn up due to renovation, the fireworks were shot off about a block from out house and we sat along a street near that vacant lot. They were so close, we had to lean back to see them. It was the most amazing display ever. We were right there under them!
Fireworks in Mineral Point, the pyrotechnic capital of the world, are simply grand.
One year, we watched them from a boat in the middle of a lake, which was fun, but churning through the water with other boats less than an arm's length away in the dark after most of the drivers had been drinking for hours was one of the most terrifying times of my life.
When one of my kids was little, he loved to look at them but hated the noise, so he sat on my lap with one ear against my chest and my hand pressed over the other. So that he could see them straight on, I had to sit sideways but I did not mind one bit!
In later years, when they were young teens, they would wander off with friends at the park, but when they returned to our blankets to sit on lawn chairs in front of us and exclaim to each other over the best ones, I was happy and proud. I spent as much time watching them as I did the fireworks, my dear boys who, even on Independence Day, put family over friends.