Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I noticed a little display of fireworks for sale in Circle K this morning as I bought...whatever those things I had for breakfast were. I think they were some form of chicken. The fireworks display looked crowded and conspicuous, obviously trying to squeeze into a space that was not meant to be squozed.

Just ten minutes later, as I motored down the road, I passed a forlorn building that used to be a Hollywood Video, the paint faded around where decorations used to be. Someone had strung a temporary banner over the "Hollywood", one that loudly announced "FIREWORKS".

The firework laws may have changed here in Arizona, making ground fireworks legal during certain times of year, but it's obvious that fireworks aren't native to the area or even naturalized. In this condensed urban sprawl, fireworks dealers are having to fit themselves into nooks and crannies, putting up cardboard displays next to the c-store register, squatting in defunct businesses, and cramming pavilions into weird open spaces outside the mall. Their appearance screams, "What am I doing here?"

I make this judgement fairly, having once lived in a place where the presence of fireworks was part of the town's identity. Evanston, Wyo., has at least four permanent fireworks dealers, three of which are giant warehouses clustered competitively around the same intersection. I fear I rave about Evanston far too much, so instead of typing another gushing review, I will instead direct you here. If you're only interested in hearing about Evanston's love affair with fireworks, head toward the end of the post.

Here and there sit in an interesting juxtaposition, one place only beginning to try to live in harmony with home-blown pyrotechnics and the other long living off the fumes of black powder.

Listening to: "Hells Bells" by AC/DC
Reading: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

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