Politics, Moderate



Why we oooh and aaah on the Fourth of July   

Tom Purcell on

It’s been way too long since I lit a sparkler as the sun goes down on the Fourth of July.

I’ve enjoyed many day-long celebrations with friends and family on the Fourth in many different ways, but they usually end with a gathering on a hill or a parking lot where we have an excellent view of the fireworks staged by one of several local communities.

When I was a kid, we usually went to the parking lot at South Hills Village mall in Bethel Park.

We’d unload the car and set up our makeshift picnic area with beverages, snacks and lawn chairs.

As we eagerly waited for the sky to fall dark so the fireworks could start, the adults would help us kids light our sparklers.

We’d marvel at their blinding beauty — until we heard the first “woof!” of fireworks being launched.


We’d oooh and aaah like a children’s chorus as the magnificent colors filled the sky.

And then we’d brace ourselves for the grand finale — the massive unleashing of colors and concussive sounds that filled the air with smoke and the sweet smell of sulfur and culminated in loud clapping, cheering and honking.

Afterwards, as we waited in the car in the parking-lot traffic, a great melancholy would set in.

We realized that our wonderful day had met its end and we’d have to wait another long year before we could enjoy the experience all over again.


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Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com



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