Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not quite the Fourth

I know that a slideshow is NOT within the "rules" of the Daily Photo Family! But I thought some of them were beautiful - fireworks look something like jellyfish when seen this way - and the effect is fun. Don't worry, I won't do this often!
This is the annual Fireworks show at Lime Rock race track, which we watched Friday night from the Housatonic Valley Regional High School bleachers, about a mile away. There is a long and possibly funny story behind this tradition.
Before we had kids, my husband and I were fans of the TV show, the X-Files. Certain phrases became catch-phrases with us - one in particular, "drive west fast" referred to an episide in which Mulder had to keep driving west at 50 miles an hour -- if he slowed down, his passenger's head would explode. Or something like that. The memory of the episide faded, but the phrase stuck, especially when our babies were little and we found that driving in a car would soothe them. So whenever elder daughter got fussy, we'd mutter, drive west fast, and strap her into the carseat.
The summer she was 3 1/2, and her little sister was a few months old, we all got the idea to go to the fireworks. Her heart was set on it, and since we hadn't been, we had no idea of the sonic effects of full-strength fireworks in a bowl-shaped race track. After an hour of milling around, eating ice cream, buying those light-up bracelets, and slapping mosquitoes, the first firecracker went off - and she panicked, like nothing I've ever seen. She was screaming, crying, shaking - Fred grabbed her, I got the baby and we RAN for the parking lot as fast as we could, leaving all our stuff behind. After we were safely in the car, Fred went back to gather up the stuff. She was still crying hard, begging him to return. When he finally got back in the car, she said, through tears, "DRIVE WEST FAST, DADDY!"

Which he did.

We haven't been back to Lime Rock since - five years later we still watch from the safety and quiet of the high school. The ice cream truck comes, and so do the mosquitoes. But I bet I'd get better photos if I went to the track!

PS fitting that so many of the fireworks are red. Tomorrow is Daily Photo Theme Day and the theme is RED - so come back soon!


Blogger Squirrel said...

I'm constantly amazed by the images I see on the daily photo blogs! This slideshow was fabulous!

12:20 AM  
Blogger RUTH said...

I do love a good firework show so no complaints from me. I tried in vain last Bonfire Night to take some photos of fireworks...they didn't come out well.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Rotary Tom said...

Watching the fireworks outside the confines of the Limerock Park pales in comparison to being spread out on the well maintained lawn, enjoying a picnic.

It's most unfortunate as the fireworks that are orchestrated by the Salisbury Rotary Club are put on each year so we can raise money for scholarships for those little children you brought there that 1st night and who will someday hopefully go to college and may need help with tuition bills, books etc.

I wonder how many of those people that refuse to pay the meager few dollars to see that fantastic show right here in our own collective backyard, are parents whose children go on to apply for our scholarships. The show is so generously supported by Skip Barber and his team at the Park, which he donates the use of to Rotary each year. As a matter of fact he entered the gates with the public and paid for 2 tickets so he and his wife could watch the show.

Great pictures.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Rotary Tom, you gave me no way to reply to you personally, so I don't know if you'll see this. But we aren't avoiding the park to skip out on the money - we're happy to support every community event. We're just avoiding the noise, which scared my children witless. It's terrifyingly loud to them. I'm sure we'll be back when they get a little older!!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Marshall Miles said...

If Rotary Tom knew you and the money you have raised for the community, I think he would have been a little less willing to judge you.

No explinations needed. Anyone who knows you, knows how much you are involved in the community.

Don’t loose any sleep over it.
Keep up the good work.

ps…Did you tell Rotary Tom about your Iron Man Marathon that you did to raise money for the Millerton Care Car?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Rotary Tom,

Gee, now I'm starting to feel guilty about watching the fireworks from the top of Wells Hill at Bell Drive. A bunch of us parked up there and sat in our lawn chairs while our kids fed Mark Gomez's horses. It was really a fun time and not so loud and hectic as being in the park. You're right, Marshall, we all contribute to the community in our own ways.

I'll tell you what, Tom. I won't apply for a Rotary scholarship if you won't be so judgmental about people you don't even know.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Rotary Tom's comments have less to do with being judgmental and more to do with simple economics - As more people have chosen to view the fireworks from outside the park, fewer have been supporting the cost of the fireworks themselves (which this year was $8500), much less contributing to the fundraiser, which this event is, for the Rotary Club of Salisbury.
Many volunteers work to make the event happen, and Tom works hardest of all.
Rotary scholarships have benefited many residents of the Northwest Corner over the years - ask Neil Scott, who has been chair of that committee for Rotary for many years. The folks at Rotary are very committed to finding a way to fund those scholarships, as college gets more expensive than ever, and it could well come to where it's not possible to continue providing the fireworks for the community if the economics don't work any more.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

It's a fair point, Janet, and I appreciate the hard work folks like Tom put in to create a wonderful event for the community - I am intimately familiar with the kind of effort that goes into something like this. It's interesting to note that, for whatever reason, I was not aware of what the fireworks supported or who put them on, and I've been living here for ten years. Is that because I wasn't paying attention to the press that exists, or should there be more attention drawn to it somehow? (or both?) I still think I did the right thing by not taking my kids to it this year, but I'll be more likely to go in future years when they're a little older, now that I know more about it.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Please understand, nobody would expect you to bring your children into the park when it's an uncomfortable situation, and I'm glad the fireworks were there for you and the kids to see. And, to take pics of, the slide show is great. It's not your fault; it's just that watching from outside the park is a trend that has taken its toll on the volunteers for this event, and on the scholarship fund over the years.
Not sure why the awareness of this as a fundraiser is low; there has been press on it over the years, though not every year, and it's mentioned in the ads, on the posters, and the volunteers talk it up and try to say it to every car entering the park: "Thanks for supporting the scholarship fund." Well, could be we should promote that side of it more, but it's really also supposed to be a fun event for families and everyone who likes fireworks.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Janet, (are you a Janet I know?) I run community events all the time at the North East Community Center in Millerton, and I see from our events and from those of many other organizations how hard it is for everyone to sustain their projects, and for volunteers to sustain their energy and desire - I can see how this trend would be more than demoralizing for people who work so hard to put on the event! I have received 5 or 6 invitations in the last week alone to events for organizations I really believe in - I don't think I'll be going to any of them for reasons of time, money, and being way too busy with my own events (new farmer's market, Family Arts Festival, etc.) - all I can do is send a check and my best wishes! But for the event organizers, that's small consolation when they have low turnout because there are a half-dozen other events going on at the same time! It's a real challenge! But the Rotary's cause is a great one - as Tom said, paying for college is just getting harder and harder.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Hi Jenny,
We have crossed paths. I'm Janet Manko, live in Lime Rock, member of Rotary for about 10 years. Worked many fireworks and have seen the event transform. Also of The Lakeville Journal...
Thanks for the kind words

4:42 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Oh, I know you (thought not sure if we've ever met in person!) I know quite a few Janets, as it turns out!

10:01 PM  

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