Stand Or Not To Stand …That Is The Question?

Stand Or Not To Stand … That is The Question-By Kellie Kennedy- One baby Boomers View On Life.

The 4th of July is tomorrow, with this day comes childhood memories. Being a “Baby Boomer” born in 1962, I was lucky enough to experience 4th of July in Southern California. In those days, life was so much more simple as a kid when the 4th of July rolled around.

Back in the day, California had Red Devil Fireworks stands on almost every corner. As a kid, I could hardly sleep the night before the 4th of July; anticipating our family trip to the local fireworks stand. In our neighborhood all the fathers, accompanied by their hyper kids rushed to the Red Devil Fireworks stand.  The entire neighborhood joined forces combining their box of fireworks to create a huge fireworks block party.

The “Family Combo Pack” contained Black Snakes, Giant Silver Screemer, Smoke Cartridges, Sparklers, Meteoric Fountain and the infamous Giant Brilliant Cone. The Giant Brilliant Cone looked like a bad birthday party hat. All the kids in my neighborhood thought we had the most fantastic LIVE fireworks show of all times … and we did! The vision of each father slowly walking up with a pack of matches ( H’m matchbooks remember those?) to lite their “Family Combo Pack” still brings a smile to my face. All fireworks in the box were legal in those days. Without fail at least one father was able to get his hands the “HOLY GRAIL” of illegal fireworks … the CHERRY BOMB/M-80! Oh we were all so excited waiting for the end of the show, anticipating the illegal fireworks! BOOM! Every kid was running around screaming/yelling, like a child who has forgotten to take their Ritalin medication. Or perhaps indulged themselves on too many sugar sodas with 10 Pixy Stix! ( Ok, so I am dating myself with the reference to old-time candy-Pixy Stix).

When I was growing up we were entertained by old fashion block party firework shows. In addition, we had the most fantastic toys to keep our attention for hours: YO-YO’s, Slinky’s, and cans oPlay Doh. I guess times have changed or perhaps we were not very bright kids and easily amused! I hope it’s not the latter! The old fashion fireworks stands, are all but illegal these days in California. You may just find a lone fireworks stand hidden off the beaten path; in the states and counties where fireworks stands are still permitted. I guess the question I am now pondering as an adult … fireworks stands good or bad? For me, the Red Devil Fireworks stand will always represent fond childhood memories and simple times. I am not sure this generation of young kids walk away with the same thrill in the pit of their stomachs; while sitting in the local high school football stadium watching an oversized community fireworks show. H’m … that’s just this “Baby Boomers” opinion! Stand Or Not To Stand … That Is The Question? Happy 4th of July!

Kellie Kennedy … One Baby Boomers View On Life.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Wonderful reflection and recollection. I grew up in a small town … yep, no public fireworks displays – so it was about the neighborhoods as you described. My parents had a carryout that also served food. Dad put a sign in the window about neighborhood fireworks … and we were surprised how many people came.

    Yes, we grew up in simpler times, but we didn’t expect much and were used to playing outside for hours. Happy Fourth of July to you and your readers. Enjoy and be safe.


  2. Thanks Frank for stopping by to read blog. Simplicity is really what I enjoy remembering. And you are right we went out in the late morning and had to come home when street lights came on in neighborhood.


  3. I go back ten years earlier than you, so you’re right…the Red Devil stands were central to my childhood. Sadly, now in my San Gabriel, CA home, we can’t have ANY fireworks. I’ll go one city over tonight to my brother’s (Alhambra) and then we can light a few! Happy 4th…be safe–and sane! 🙂 Debra


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