Not far from here, and indeed
accessible by a single, unbroken road that begins just steps
away from "Book Again", there exists an expanse of
hills and trees that protrudes out into the Pacific. Its ways
are not entirely unknown to our family, and at this time of year
the more aged among us cannot help but reflect upon one of the
more frustrating aspects of living in that isolated community
namely, the absolute ban of fireworks.
And yet, residents of the eastern
portion of those green hills may look down at this time of year
upon the harbor, and the community that surrounds it, and wonder
if perhaps we have not gone to war...
For, perhaps to balance some
unknown sulfurous scale, this little harbor community commences
its Independence Day celebrations weeks before the actual day,
and night after night one can hear the explosions, see the fire
erupt in the night sky, and perhaps feel some kinship with colonists
of long ago...
Such as, for instance, those
fireworks-loving colonists of Rhode Island, who were so over
fond of pyrotechnic pursuits that a law was created, banning
fireworks (and unnecessary firing of guns, etc) in 1731,
a year before George Washington was born!
It was probably the first of
what are now innumerable restrictions on these happy explosive
devices, innumerable nowadays, and indeed inevitable, and probably
I recall in my youth that nothing
was so delightful as the possession of some of that forbidden
firework fruit one could, after all, simply ride one's
bike to a neighboring community "below the hill" to
find a friendly Red Devil stand and nothing quite so deliciously
naughty as setting one or two off.
I recall in my youth that more
than one acquaintance ended up unintentionally burning down a
nearby field, or even, in one case, the family garage.
So, yeah, those laws are probably
a good thing, particularly in more woodsy environs.
And I have but begun, and yet
my space is done! In the spirit of the holiday, I leave you with
an appropriate Book-related quote:
"Books constitute capital.
A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years.
It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of
capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out
in life, it is their only capital."Thomas Jefferson