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Karla's Kolumn: Celebrating our independence


June 27, 2019

Independence Day is a week from today

I know, you're thinking why write something a week early. Well two reasons. One, I've had writer's block for this space and now that is 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night and another AGT auditions episode is over I finally settled on a topic, or as you'll see a few topics if I keep your attention to the end.

By the way, in my opinion AGT has been a bit disappointing this year. There are still decisions by the judges that make me shake my head and wonder what they are thinking.

Perhaps my favorite act is – you guessed it – the dog act of Lukas and Falco. Check it out on the web, you won't be disappointed.

OK, back to Independence Day. We celebrate our independence from England. While we celebrate the 243rd year of our independence we have some presidential candidates touting the liberal world order, which I find ironic.

Do we want to be independent or do we want the world telling us what to do? But that's a topic for another day and I promised myself whatever I wrote this week I wanted it to be light.

So some light-hearted memories from Fourth of July celebrations. Growing up we didn't shoot off fireworks. Occasionally we might get a firecracker but usually we were allowed to have sparklers.

We would watch the fireworks display set off from the airport in Thermopolis and ooh and aah at the spectacular colors.

But, it wasn't until I was married and living in Lovell that I understood the fun of "blowing things up" to celebrate the Fourth of July. Lovell is one of a few communities in the state that allow (or allowed as I'm not sure they still do) fireworks to be set off in the community. And it wasn't just the Fourth of July, usually fireworks were allowed a day or two before and/or after.

During that time Lovell would sound like a war zone, especially on the night of the Fourth of July.

For the first year or two we hunkered inside our house trying to console our dogs from the noise or we would leave town. Lovell always had their big display at Horseshoe Bend during Mustang Days and watching fireworks over the lake was spectacular. Getting out of the area and safely back to Lovell also proved a challenge.

One year we decided if you can't beat them, join them so we went to three or four stands and spent too much on fireworks and we were set.

During the day we set off firecrackers and bottle rockets. It was then that we realized our one dog Jake was not afraid of firecrackers but rather wished to attack them. We caught him in time and he had to be stuck on a leash away from the fireworks.

At night we joined our neighbors in the middle of the street and let loose fountains and aerials.

When we took a break we could look in any direction to see other displays around town.

Then, however, came the clean up the next morning as the street were littered with debris, but it was a good time.

We continued our fireworks tradition when we lived in Basin, as we also had a shop outside Greybull that provided room for shooting off fireworks and now here in Washakie County, we have room, depending on how dry it is, to have fun with fireworks at our place.

We've watched some spectacular displays over the years, one year at Centennial while camping in the Snowy Range Mountains, in the Byron City Park with the fireworks right overhead and here in Washakie County we can see several displays, usually far away, but spectacular nonetheless.

While fireworks are prohibited on public, city and county lands, the city, county and Bureau of Land Management get together each year to provide a spot for people to have a safe and fun area to light off fireworks, at the gravel pit off of 15 Mile Road.

With Ten Sleep and surrounding communities having their own displays, for these entities to give people an opportunity to start a tradition like we did and set off your own fireworks is a nice gesture.

So this coming week, be safe when you celebrate our nation's independence birthday, whether it be traveling to watch a display, hunkering inside to calm your pets (and please make sure your pets are safe and secure when fireworks may be set off), or setting off your own display.

Happy Independence Day.


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