Maybe I’m spoiled, being born in New York City? With millions of people there were economies of scale. The Fourth of July was actually celebrated on the Fourth of July! Here in the ‘burbs, things don’t run quite as according to that plan.
My town, Hamden, had their big fireworks show last night – June 30th. I was working.
Tonight, with my friend Harold in tow, I drove a few towns over to Wallingford for their big First of July celebration.
My expectations were low. Wallingford is a small town. A nice town, no doubt, but the number of people paying for the fireworks show is small.
We drove toward the high school where the display would be mounted, only to find a roadblock. The high school was full. A policeman told us there was a plaza where we could park and then hike. That’s what we decided to do.
A few blocks later, we pulled into the parking lot at the Yalesville School. The lot was already half full and some people were hoofing it toward the fireworks. Surprisingly, more were sitting at Yalesville in folding chairs.
I walked over to a woman sitting a few feet from my car. “Could the show be seen from here?” The answer was, “Yes.”
The Eagle has landed. We stayed at Yalesville.
As far as I can tell, we saw 90% of the show. There were ground displays whose glow we sensed, but whose artistry was hidden behind trees and homes. Just about all the aerial fireworks were high enough to see nicely.
Even better, we parked next to a giant pickup truck with Sirius satellite radio. The driver had the broadcast of the Grand Old Opry¹ on, and it was loud enough to be heard where we stood.
Seriously, this was the perfect soundtrack for the evening, including Jim Ed Brown (he must be 1,000 by now) singing Three Bells – a song I played a zillion times as a disk jockey!
The show was much more than I could have ever anticipated. I didn’t check carefully, but there must have been 30 minutes of fireworks. They weren’t holding back either. This was an excellent show with plenty of action.
I clicked away like crazy. There was really no way to know whether I was striking pay dirt or not. I don’t have much in the way of fireworks experience with this camera.
I did read an article yesterday and slavishly set my ‘film’ speed at ISO 100, my aperture at F16 and plugged in a shutter release cable.
These shots of are a sample of my better catches.
The good thing about seeing fireworks on the first is, I can probably run out and see more on the second!
¹ – Holy cow! The Grand Old Opry sounds like it’s been plunked directly from the last century. There were live acts, live announcers, a live audience and live commercials (spoken and sung) for such mainstays as Martha White Flour. It was interesting to hear these 1940s type commercials make reference to Martha White’s website!