On the 4th of July back when I was only 4 feet tall Mom and Dad would load all six of us kids in the station wagon full of popcorn and Koolaid. We would head for the fireworks at Pontiac Park. At dusk the sky over the Maumee River would explode just once a year.
Going into Defiance, Ohio to shop with Mom at the A and P was exciting. Going to see fireworks was almost more than I could bear. We lived on a farm. Life was quiet. I played house with my sisters. A lot. Too much for my tastes. Going to see fireworks? Now that’s living!
Our closest neighbor was a quarter of a mile away. Defiance was the big city were houses were side by side. 15,000 people. It was just like New York to me.
That park was packed on the 4th. Feral Kids running around with the order to get your butts back to the car when the fireworks started. As soon as the sun set those giant bottle rockets would streak straight up. Then suddenly the night sky was filled with color and sound.
Those innocent booms echo in my head still. They gave me the idea that there’s more to this world than soybeans. When I watch the fireworks tomorrow night I will be thinking fondly of those soybeans of my youth. I will feel those booms pull me into my storytelling tomorrows.
Tony Toledo, July 3, 2016