Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Glorious Fourth

When I was a small kid my parents and I would go down to the Presidio wall on the Fourth of July to watch the fireworks over the trees. Later on, we'd go to the lookout point in the park, up near the Legion of Honor. On a clear day, you can see straight out across the ocean in one direction, and the Golden Gate Bridge in the other.

On a foggy July night, you can see--nothing. Absolutely nothing. Most years it was so socked in with fog that you only knew the ocean was below because you could hear it.

We, and all the other people from the neighborhood who'd come out, would stand in our coats and hats and mufflers, and wait. After a while, we'd hear the booms coming across the bay that assured us that the fireworks display had indeed started. Occasionally, a high shot would make the clouds flash briefly green or red.

"OOOOOOOOOHHHHH!" everyone would gasp, giddy with irony and slightly numb from the cold. "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!"

And then after a while, the kids who'd climbed down into the brush around the rocks at the bottom of the cliff would start to set off cherry bombs down there.

Ah, the damp, chilly summer memories of a San Francisco childhood.

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